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Big Oil Funding U.S. Politics

By Daniel J. Graeber | Sun, 23 September 2012 00:00 | 8

U.S. Rep. John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, received nearly twice as much financial support from donors tied to the energy sector than did the next-closest recipient, a report from the National Wildlife Federation finds. The 20-page report highlights the role it says oil companies play in U.S. politics, stating energy companies are working behind the scenes on Capitol Hill to influence legislation in favour of oil, natural gas and coal policies. The NWF report finds that the current 112th U.S. Congress has voted one out of every five times against legislation drafted in favour of environmental issues.

Boehner, R-Ohio, in a press conference this week, spoke out against a stagnant unemployment climate in the United States. The U.S. Labour Department, in an early September report, showed the unemployment rate dropped slightly in August to 8.1 percent, down 0.2 percent from its July level. That's the 43rd consecutive month, however, that the unemployment rate was above 8 percent, the longest period since World War II. The House speaker said this was a sign of President Barack Obama's failure to lead.

On Friday, Boehner led the House of Representatives in passing the so-called Stop the War on Coal Act, a measure that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. It's unlikely to pass through the Senate.

"We’re the Saudi Arabia of coal and the president wants to shut down coal production and the use of coal in the United States so that we can export it to our economic competitors around the world," said Boehner in a statement. It's a jobs issue, he said.

The report from the NWF, released on the eve of the House vote, finds that Oxbow Corp., a private company focused on mining and marketing of coal, natural gas and petroleum, donated more than $80,000 to Boehner's campaign since 2010. The NWF explains that Oxbow was founded by William Koch, whose twin billionaire brothers are among the largest corporate financiers of the U.S. Congress. According to information NWF gathered from The Center for Responsive Politics, energy companies like Oxbow gave more than $814,000 to Boehner's campaign during the current Congress.

The NWF's report, however, is non-partisan in its effort to showcase the energy sector's monetary influence over U.S. politics. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, ranked No. 2 on the NWF's list. Manchin, ahead of Friday's vote in the House, said it was clear that "the EPA has overstepped its bounds" in terms of action that could target the coal industry. Of the top 10 lawmakers listed in the NWF report, however, Manchin is the only Democrat and received $480,050 compared to Boehner's $814,060.

The NWF states that the House of Representatives, led by Boenher and his fellow Republicans, voted 109 times since the start of 2011 to weaken environmental laws or some of the safety regulations in the oil industry.

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the NWF, said the report provides a "behind the curtains" look into U.S. politics.

"America has been losing ground in the climate fight, and much of this is due to gridlock within our political system," he writes. "The resulting inertia is sustained by oil, gas, and coal companies that have spent more than a billion dollars on campaign contributions, public advertising, and lobbying in the past two years alone."

By. Daniel J. Graeber of Oilprice.com

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  • Poet on September 24 2012 said:
    Is it any wonder these thugs are all pushing the XL pipeline? They serve the ones that pay them! Tragic that America is reduced to this: Corporate/Government hacks serving their buddies for cash!
  • Hans Nieder on September 24 2012 said:
    NWF, as political as a non-profit can get...

    Also a front for the World Wide Warming Panic Movement as well...

    Friends of BIG governmental units and the labor gangs...

    Loves the new CAFE standards and thousand of government regulations...

    BTW, they should love the First Speaker Cry Baby, as he is a Certified RINO...
  • Jack Daly on September 24 2012 said:
    Germany's solar power generation facilities produce the eqiovalent of 20 nuker power plants running at 100% capacity 24x7,
  • Randy on September 24 2012 said:
    ""America has been losing ground in the climate fight, and much of this is due to gridlock within our political system," he writes. "

    The climate fight? Who won? Where can I read about the pros and cons of the climate fight? When is/was the fight, and why wasn't I invited?

    Notice how everything is a 'given' with these people. A climate fight occured, they won, and that's that. Many of us, however, beg to disagree. Show us the data! What? The data from the IPCC? That's been discredited by many scientists a long time ago.
  • Hans Nieder on September 24 2012 said:
    You are right, Randy, they hate oil because it is carbon, which trumps their green/pink card...
  • Randy on September 24 2012 said:
    To: Jack Daly

    "Germany's solar power generation facilities produce the eqiovalent of 20 nuker power plants running at 100% capacity 24x7,"

    Prove it! C'mon. Prove that statement! I dare ya.
  • Churchill on September 25 2012 said:
    Hehehe. isn't Science and Technology wonderful???
    After all these. years and were still stuck with the internal combustion engine. Obviously, there's no room for advancement or, is there?
    It's interesting how Big Government, most Environmental Groups/Organizations, most Science and Technological advancements including Nuclear Energy and Military Industrial complexes are funded/financed by the same these days.
  • Hans Nieder on September 25 2012 said:
    Sorry, Randy, but Mr Daily is a member of The Post and Ghost Society and is not available for comments...

    Mr Churchill, you hit the nail on the head and it is the principal reason I do not trust the Enviro moveon.org gang...

    For them, it is either carbon reduction or Gulag admission...

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