Analysis of sources of campaign contributions to members of Senate suggest Congress will be unlikely to take action on comprehensive climate legislation, indicates data collected by MapLight, a group that tracks money’s influence on politics.
Industries with interests in maintaining the status quo on greenhouse gas emissions — including chemicals, oil and gas, coal, airlines, and transportation — gave $25.1 million to Senators between January 1, 2009—December 31, 2012. Meanwhile interests in the environmental policy, alternate energy production and services, and nuclear energy sectors contributed $4.2 million during the period. In other words, top carbon-emitting industries gave near six times as much as industries that would support market-based climate legislation.
The findings, which are based on data from OpenSecrets, suggest that President Obama will have to follow through on this threat to advance climate policy without the help of Congress.
“I urge this Congress to get together, pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change,” Obama said during a climate change policy speech today. “But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.”
Contributions to Senators from Interests That May Not Benefit from Market-Based Climate Legislation, as defined by MapLight
|Gas & electric utilities||$3,185,646|
|Electric power utilities||$2,807,445|
|Independent oil & gas producers||$2,061,058|
|Major (multinational) oil & gas producers||$1,920,807|
|Oil & gas||$1,540,206|
|Oilfield service, equipment & exploration||$1,383,057|
|Natural gas transmission & distribution||$1,270,501|
|Petroleum refining & marketing||$1,242,672|
|Trucking companies & services||$1,225,107|
|Forestry & forest products||$1,048,825|
Contributions to Senators from Interests That Would Benefit from Market-Based Climate Legislation, as defined by MapLight
|Alternate energy production & services||$1,092,770|
(06/25/2013) Five years after being elected president and six months after winning a second term, President Obama today gave his first speech devoted solely to climate change and announced several executive actions to begin weaning the United States (historically the largest emitter of greenhouse gases) off fossil fuels. At Georgetown University today, Obama stated that his administration would expand renewable energy projects on federal lands, raise energy efficiency standards on appliances, and, most importantly, limit carbon pollution from both existing and new power plants, which represent about 40 percent of the U.S.’s emissions. Obama also noted that the U.S. would spearhead global efforts to combat climate change which is pushing sea levels higher, melting glaciers and sea ice, exacerbating fires, imperiling species, and worsening extreme weather worldwide.