In the tidal-wave of emotion and global reaction to Barack Obama’s historic win, it is easy to forget that it is not just the Presidency that was up for grabs in Tuesday’s election.

There was great news elsewhere in the Congressional race, where at least seven of the League of Conservation Voters “Dirty Dozen” lawmakers lost their seats.

These are the lawmakers who stuff their pockets with Big Oil money and then shamelessly back their industry friends with tax breaks.

So the League’s “Dirty Dozen” programme targets candidates for Congress – regardless of party affiliation – who consistently vote against clean energy and conservation.  Launched in 1996, the LCV has successfully defeated over half the candidates named on the list and this year was no different.

So here are the seven who no longer a member of Congress and its about time too –all the figures of campaign contributions are from the LCV:

Gone: Elizabeth Dole – Wife of 1996 Republican nominee, Bob Dole, her lifetime LCV score is 12%.  She is one of Big Oil’s biggest Congressional allies, and has consistently voted to extend tax breaks and subsidies to the industry, weaken CAFÉ standards, and eliminate any increase in renewable energy production.  According to the LCV, she has accepted $312,606 from the oil and gas industry.

Gone: Dean Andal – Andal received an embarrassing 9% lifetime score from the California League of Conservation Voters.  During his time as a state senator, he voted against banning offshore drilling and routinely opposed legislation promoting fuel efficiency and cutting petroleum use.

Gone: Joe Knollenberg – Knollenberg has repeatedly voted for corporate polluters and against environmental protections, earning him a lifetime LCV score of only 9%.  A strong opponent of fuel efficiency and renewable energy, he had taken $642,388 in contributions from polluting energy interests since 2001.

Gone: Anne Northup – Northup has a lifetime LCV score of only 7% and voted against every major piece of environmental legislation in the 109th Congress.  She has accepted $334,877 from oil and gas interests during her career.

Gone: Steve Pearce – Pearce earned a pathetic 3% lifetime LCV score and has earned three 0% scores in his tenure.  Since his election, there have been 93 key conservation votes in Congress and, in all but three, Pearce has voted against clean air, clean energy, and protecting our natural heritage.  He has accepted more from the oil and gas industry, $706,324, than from any other economic sector.

Gone: Tim Walberg – Walberg distinguished himself as one of the most anti-environment members of the 2006 Congressional class, has an abysmal 3% LCV lifetime score, and, in 2008, voted against every major piece of clean energy and energy efficiency legislation.

Gone: Bob Schaffer – A career politician-turned-oil executive, Schaffer has a 5% LCV lifetime.  He was a major proponent of the Bush/Cheney energy plan, which doled out $33 billion in tax breaks for the energy industry. He made oil deals in Iraq and his company sided with the dirty energy of the past instead of the clean, renewable energy of the future. He has accepted $242,826 from oil and gas interests.

Those from the Dozen (actually the list was 13 not 12!) who were re-elected included Don Young  (who has accepted more that $963,763 from the oil and gas industry) Mitch McConnell (who has accepted $713,961 from oil and gas interests); Mary Landrieu ($666,994 from the oil and gas industries); Jim Inhofe  (over $1.1 million in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests) and Sam Graves. Finally lets not forget Ted Stevens, who since since 1977, Stevens has voted for billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil companies.  He has accepted nearly half a million dollars in legal donations from oil and gas interests as well.

Last week, Stevens was found guilty on seven federal felony charges, yet the Alaska Senator has just been reelected. Such is the power of the oil industry and its cronies, that only in Alaska could people re-elect a convicted felon. But then only in Alaska could they elect a Governor called Sarah Palin.


  • I’m glad these politicians were removed, it’s people like this that prevent our growth as a nation, finding alternatives and becoming more efficient in our oil consumption will generate breakthroughs and prevent suffering in the years to come. It’s economics, scarcity- limited resources; oil is a very limited resource. We are now more dependent on oil than ever before, we are being held back by politicians that vote against acts and policies our country needs. These people are blinded by money and are motivated by personal greed, there is no integrity; this is just a fraction of people in politics that are not concerned about the people of America and our best interests. You wonder why people hate America-this is it, we are being represented by selfish corrupted men and women. It is indeed a sad truth: America is diminishing in unity, honor, and respect by its own citizens.
    We need change, we need a government for the people, we need a revolution.

  • One other oil/gas lover Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave was defeated overwhelmingly by Betsy Markey in the 4th District – Colorado.

    Congresswoman-elect Markey is committed to renewable energy and has indicated her desire to be on an energy committee.

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