The oil and gas industries unleashed a massive $175 million lobbying spree last year to derail U.S. efforts to address climate change, according to a new series of reports by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).
OpenSecrets.org blogger Evan Mackinder reveals just how badly oil and gas interests pummeled the environmental community, which spent its own record $22.4 million trying to convince Washington to get its act together to fight global warming.
As CRP notes, “Goliath whipped David.”
CRP’s new series, titled “Fueling Washington: How Oil Money Drives Politics,” details the oil and gas industries’ outsized influence in Washington.
In the recent battle over climate legislation, ExxonMobil alone spent more than all the environmental groups combined, stuffing $27.4 million into K Street coffers to ensure the status quo addiction to fossil fuels can continue unfettered by concerns for the climate.
Combined with the contributions from Chevron, ConocoPhillips and the now infamous Koch Industries, Big Oil as a whole “hammered away in the background” while Washington debated healthcare reform, working to derail support for a carbon tax or cap-and-trade or anything else having to do with protecting future generations from dangerous climate disruption.
Over an eighteen month period, Big Oil spent nearly $250 million to block climate action in the U.S. House and Senate, CRP reports.
And Big Oil’s K Street spigot is still flowing. So far in 2010, “the oil industry spent nearly $75 million between January and June – equivalent to the government budget of a mid-sized American city – lobbying the federal government,” OpenSecrets blogger Andrew Kreighbaum notes.
With the political fallout from BP’s destruction of the Gulf of Mexico set to last well into the next Congress, there’s no doubt that Big Oil’s lobbying gusher will keep spewing indefinitely.