Polluting Our Democracy and Our Environment: Dirty Fuels Money in Politics
Oil Change International and Sierra Club
A new report by Oil Change International and the Sierra Club, Polluting Our Democracy and Our Environment: Dirty Fuels Money in Politics, demonstrates the enormous amount of campaign finance contributions pouring into Congress by the fossil fuel industry, a problem that is only getting worse. With the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, super-wealthy donors can now funnel unlimited amounts of outside money into political campaigns and elections. As a result of this ruling, outside spending increased by an enormous11,761 percentbetween the 2008 and 2012 elections.
Oil, gas, and coal companies are among the biggest political donors, and their investments in Congress are paying off. For every $1 the fossil fuel industry spends on campaign finance and lobbying, they get $59 back in tax breaks and other subsidies – a 5,800 percent rate of return. The fossil fuel industry’s disproportional influence in Congress has also held back progress on climate change and other environmental legislation, despite the fact that the majority of Americans support such measures. At the industry’s urging, Congress has blocked critically needed climate and energy policies and launched dozens of legislative attacks on existing environmental protections that protect our clean air and water.