The 12 members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “supercommittee,” have received at least $4.2 million in campaign contributions from dirty energy interests lobbying to keep their wasteful taxpayer subsidies, according to a new report from Oil Change International (OCI) and Public Campaign Action Fund (PCAF). The report analyzes the millions of dollars in oil, gas, and coal dollars committee members have taken over the past 11 years, former aides working as energy industry lobbyists, and the members’ personal investments in these companies.
The report, Payback Time? The Supercommittee & Fossil Fuel Subsidies, comes on the heels of news reports that the American Petroleum Institute has launched a television advertising blitz in the Republican supercommittee states of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania to ensure that those Committee members vote to maintain costly and outdated subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.
The key findings of the report show:
- The 12 members of the supercommittee have accepted at least $4.2 million in dirty energy money over the last eleven years.
- Supercommittee members have at least 35 former or current staffers with revolving door ties to dirty energy interests.
- Subsidies to fossil fuels can be conservatively estimated at $10 billion a year or $100 billion over the last decade.
“The supercommittee shouldn’t be giving handouts to their dirty energy donors at the expense of middle class families,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for Public Campaign Action Fund.
“Hugely profitable oil, coal and gas companies are the last place our tax dollars should be going to. Before they even think about touching programs that provide a vital safety net for the poor and middle class, the supercommittee needs to eliminate these wasteful handouts,” says Steve Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International. “The supercommittee members need to stand with the American people, not their campaign donors, and end this outrageous waste of taxpayer money.”
Numerous polls have demonstrated that nearly two thirds of Americans (across party lines) are in favor of ending these dirty energy subsidies.
A full copy of the report, including full analyses of all 12 members of the supercommittee can be reviewed here.
Oil Change International is one of the founding members of the Dirty Energy Money Campaign, a multi-organizational effort to confront and reduce the political influence of the fossil fuel industry in Congress.
Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonprofit watchdog group working to improve America’s election laws and to hold elected officials accountable. Learn more at www.campaignmoney.org