The greatest barriers to clean energy are political, not technical—and these barriers are largely fueled by the oil industry. We know that in order to achieve a clean energy future, we have to expose and eradicate the political influence of the oil industry; we have to achieve a separation of oil & state.
Over $114 million has been paid by the oil, gas and coal industries over the last decade to buy access and influence in Congress. Although we’re not sure yet, the 111th Congress could end up being the dirtiest yet.
The next step to ending our collective addiction to oil is reducing oil’s influence over our representatives and demanding political independence from Big Oil.
Here’s what you can do:
- Write to your member of Congress to demand a Separation of Oil and State.
- Check out www.DirtyEnergyMoney.com to find out how much money your elected officials have received from the oil, gas, and coal industries.
One of the best explanations we have found for why we need a Separation of Oil & State comes from Dr. Robert Engler in his seminal 1961 work, The Politics of Oil:
“The petroleum industry has harnessed public law, governmental machinery, and opinion to ends that directly challenge public rule. In the name of prosperity and technology, the industry has been able to destroy competition and limit abundance. In the name of national interest it has received privileges beyond those accorded to other industries. In the name of national security, oil has influenced and profited from a foreign policy that has supported the chauvinism of a few rather than generosity to the aspirations of the many in underdeveloped areas. In the name of private enterprise, it has contributed to the attenuation of vital portions of democratic life, from education to civic morality. In the name of the right of representation, it has so entrenched itself within the political processes that it becomes impossible to distinguish public from private actions. In the name of freedom, the oil industry has received substantial immunity from public accountability.”
All this before climate change or wars for oil were concerns. Dr Engler passed away in 2007, at the age of 84. Although we never met him, we recognize we are standing on his, and many others’ shoulders, as we work towards a Separation of Oil and State.