The oil, gas and coal industries increased their lobbying budgets by 50% in the first quarter of 2009, with $44.5 million being spent to undermine any plans to reduce CO2 emissions, the Guardian reports.
The spoiler campaign runs to hundreds of millions of dollars and involves industry front groups, lobbying firms, television, print and radio advertising, and donations to pivotal members of Congress. Its intention is to water down or kill off plans by the Democratic leadership to pass “cap and trade” legislation this year, which would place limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
The cap and trade legislation is currently being hammered out in the House of Representatives and hinges on the approval of 12 Democrats. Seven of those democrats received over $100,000 in campaign donations from oil, gas, and electricity producers in last year’s elections. Two others received over $90,000.
It’s not just donations to politicans shaping the legislation. The industries hit hardest are running ads on television that try to convince the public that they’re good for the environment, while actual environmental groups can’t do the same. According to the Guardian, the oil and coal industry spent $76.1m on ads for the first four months of the year, while environmental groups only spent $28.6m on ads.
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