Coal / Energy / Oil & Gas

A climate of cash in votes on global warming

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has received the most money from the oil and gas and coal mining industries, over $1.6 million since 2010. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has received the most money from the oil and gas and coal mining industries, over $1.6 million since 2010. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON, DC — “For years now, the scientific consensus has been that climate change is occurring and is caused mainly by the actions of human beings. So why, during the first month of the current Congress, did nearly half the Senate — all Republicans — vote against an amendment stating that human activities contribute significantly to climate change?

We don’t know.

But we can say that those who voted for the amendment received less than one-fifth as much in campaign contributions from the oil and gas and coal industries as those who voted against it.

Senators who have publicly denied that humans have had a significant impact on climate change took in an average of $467,022 more from the coal mining and oil and gas industries since 2010 than those who have publicly accepted humans’ role in the global rise in temperature.

…Both the oil and gas and coal mining industries have significant incentives to halt efforts to stop climate change, which is caused in large part by gas-burning vehicles and coal-fueled power plants that produce greenhouse gases; any plans to tackle climate change would mean curbing the output of these gases, cutting into industry profits. Donating to lawmakers in the hope of preventing action on the issue would seem to be a good investment for them.”

— Alec Goodwin, Center for Responsive Politics

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