The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) launched a new series of reports, "Fueling Washington," highlighting the big money going into support or defeat (but let's face it, mostly defeat) comprehensive energy reform in Congress this year.
According to CRP:
This year, the fossil fuels industry has dominated political discourse in ways it never before has. And such debate comes at a time when the most interested of parties -- environmentalists, alternative energy producers, the oil and gas industry itself -- are pouring record amounts of money into national politics in an attempt to bend rules, regulations and politicians their way.
We're just two days into the series, but here are some interesting facts:
- Big Oil spent $75 million lobbying Congress in the first half of 2010, trying to stave off legislation passed in the house in 2009 and later, of course, making sure any response to tbe BP Gulf Oil spill didn't treat oil companies to harshly.
- In 2009, pro-environmental lobbying groups spent a record $22.4 million on lobbying Congress--a combination of several organizations. Of course, like other issues from health care to Wall Street reform, these interests couldn't keep up with corporations. ExxonMobile, for instance, spent $27.4 million on lobbying. One company outspent the entire pro-environmental lobby.
Of course, this doesn't include the millions of dollars in campaign contributions that energy interests have donated over the years to fend off new regulations or environmental standards. And as this story on the coal industry shows, the Citizens United v. FEC decision will just make things even worse.