Dirty Energy Money turning Purple?

Shouldn’t surprise anyone, but some of the worst polluters in the country, some of those most determined to fight action on Global Warming, are starting to color their political donations ‘purple’.  With Democratic Party control of Congress, high odds that the Hill will tinge even bluer come 2009, and that Barack Obama will be sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office, only a fool would not be hedging bets.  But, that these serial Fossil Fuel polluters might not be total fools when it comes to political influence games does not mean that this is something to celebrate.

Global Warming legislation will have $trillions of implications in the coming decades. This can be done with social equity or a way to enrich the pockets of serial polluters at the expense of the rest of US.   Should we wonder which way these polluters’ donations are trying to drive this equation?

EENews Greenwire is reporting that Energy industry opening wallet for moderate Democrats (behind firewall).  

“There is no single narrative that’s going to explain every campaign check that’s cut,” said Jerry Taylor, an energy policy expert at the libertarian Cato Institute. “But a lot of this has to do with the fact that these moderate Democrats are going to be influential in the future and there’s some high-stake fights that’s going to come down the road.”

Blue Dog PAC, for example, has already raked in more money from the energy industry that it did in the entire 2006 campaign cycle.  But, smoke does not necessarily mean fire.

Daniel Weiss, an energy expert at the Center for American Progress,
said it is doubtful energy industry dollars moved any votes.

“They are all at the very conservative end of the Democratic spectrum
in 2007 — a lot of them have voted against closing the oil
loopholes,” Weiss said. “They would have done that in 2006 without the
money.”

Weiss’ reassurances aside, what this reminds us is the extent of struggle that we have before us, fighting $100s of millions dedicated to undermining our chances for a sensible future.

One response to “Dirty Energy Money turning Purple?

  1. Of course, it’s not just the Blue Dogs — the freshmen class is getting a lot of honey.

    For example, Rep. Zach Space of Ohio, who won the seat formerly held by Republican Bob Ney, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements in relation to the Abramoff scandal, received little attention from energy interests and $5,550 in contributions in 2006. But Space has already racked up more than $32,000 from energy interests this cycle, including donations from American Electric Power, Dominion, FirstEnergy and the advocacy group Edison Electric Institute.

    Other freshmen Democrats — Reps. Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, Tim Mahoney if Florida, and Jason Altmire and Chris Carney of Pennsylvania — are also among the lawmakers that received virtually no industry dollars in 2006 but have received substantial contributions since.

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