U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith recently caused a ruckus by targeting environmental groups that are pushing for ExxonMobil to be held accountable for funding climate change denial despite their deep internal corporate knowledge of the role of fossil fuel pollution in global warming. Rep. Smith penned letters to several environmental groups and foundations requesting all of their communications about the ongoing “Exxon Knew” campaign.
Some of the groups and foundations have issued public responses refusing to provide the materials to Smith, who heads up the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
Not yet reported, though, are the extensive ties — monetary and personnel — binding Smith to the crucial corporate funders of climate denial: ExxonMobil and Koch Industries.
According to Oil Change International's Dirty Energy Money database, Smith has taken $22,270 in campaign contributions from Exxon since 1998. And OpenSecrets.org data reveals that $19,500 of the Exxon money has flowed to Smith's campaign since 2008 alone.
OpenSecrets.org data reviewed by DeSmog also shows that Smith has taken $52,000 in campaign contributions from Koch Industries — another key node of the climate denial machine — since 2006.
All told, Lamar Smith — a climate change denier — has received $675,597 from the oil and gas industry since 1998.