With a week to go before the U.S. midterm elections, the Center for American Progress Action Fund has released a great interactive map that shows who’s been bankrolling efforts to halt clean energy efforts and back the anti-clean energy reform agenda. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision permitted corporations to spend unlimited money influencing elections, the election terrain has become a dizzying display of corporate muscle and dollars. Perhaps most dizzying is how easy it is for Big Oil and special interests to hide behind benevolent-sounding front groups, and how difficult it now is for us to know whose interests are shaping the elections.
In this midterm election, Democratic-aligned groups have been outspent by an astounding 7 to 1 margin, and Republican-aligned groups have flooded the nation’s airwaves with a flurry of ads. According to CorpWatch, they have spent over $300 million, five times as much as they did in 2006.
CAP’s stats come from a Repower America report that shows the companies and organizations spreading misinformation about clean energy and climate change. 13 organizations have injected $68.5 million in 2010 alone into fictitious TV ads designed to spin clean energy legislation. Since August alone, they’ve pumped over $17 million into their efforts.
CAP’s report offers a state-by-state breakdown of the top donors, and follows the money to the source. And it’s not pretty. The stakes for a clean energy future are high as oil and coal groups spend more and more helping climate-denying candidates run in tight races.