Fight Back Blog: What’s $145 Million to Exxon-Mobil?
02.03.2010 Posted By: Brian Young
Wow. That's a lot of cash. And it doesn't even cover everything they've done to twist the debate.
That's my reaction to news that broke yesterday that Big Oil spent $145 MILLION last year in lobbying, much of it to try to stop action on energy reform that would combat global climate change. Yes, it's a lot of money. Far more than was spent by environmental organizations or clean energy groups. But it also doesn't cover a large portion of what they spent.
The story is behind a paywall at E&E, but here's an excerpt:
Oil and gas companies spent at least $154 million on lobbying last year, potentially besting a field of rivals battling to shape climate and energy policies and setting a new record for the industry.
Influence efforts by the oil and gas sector grew at least 16 percent in 2009 from the $132 million spent in 2008, according to an early analysis of new lobbying disclosures by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The total reflects spending for the first nine months of 2009 plus 80 percent of reports filed for the past three months.
The electric utility industry, meanwhile, spent at least $134.7 million on lobbying last year. Combined, the two traditional energy sectors paid out nearly 10 times the $29 million that alternative energy companies allocated for lobbying efforts. Environmental organizations spent at least $21.3 million last year on lobbying. [...]
The oil and gas industry lobbied on a number of issues other than climate legislation including taxes, health care and spending bills. It is not possible to know how much of the $154 million total went toward climate policy efforts. The total also includes some of money paid for political advertising. Oil companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp., report those costs in lobbying totals, but other large petroleum companies like Chevron do not include advertising costs in lobbying reports.
I think we can safely assume the vast bulk of that money went to combat clean energy legislation. But notice the caveat at the bottom. These are only lobbying costs. They don't include all political advertizing, nor do they cover the incredible flow of money into the denialist think-tanks and others who twist the debate in so many ways.
This is what we're up against. We absolutely have to push in every way we can to correct the record, make sure the truth gets out there against the very, VERY well-funded distortions coming from the forces of the status quo.More Posts