How Political Money Corrupts the Environment
How Political Money
Corrupts the Environment
There’s political corruption in the air. And it stinks.
Get asthma. Wheeze and cough. Die sooner.
Thank you, air pollution!
Sound sensationalized? It’s not. Just ask the American Lung Association, who points to lax policies on smog and other air pollutants as a major cause of childhood asthma. Three million people worldwide die each year thanks to air pollution – in the United States, 3 million tons of dangerous chemicals leach into the air causing cancer, birth defects, asthma, and death. Americans may disagree on environmental policy, but we can all agree on breathing cleaner air, can’t we?
Last year, President Obama couldn’t stand up to massive lobbying pressure, and failed to fix the nation’s deadly smog policies.
A political problem we can’t ignore
Why aren’t we clamping down on smog to save lives? Why aren’t we pursuing carbon reduction strategies with the same vigor as we pursue the war on terror? Why do we allow mountain top removal mining, with its associations to radioactive coal ash and tendency to give our kids asthma (and possibly autism)?
The reason is simple: Money has corrupted our government, and it’s devastating the environment.
Sell-out environmental policies
Policies that auction off the environment and our future persist under both Democrats and Republicans. Both party’s candidates depend on the oil, coal, and gas industries for the campaign money that helps them stay in power. In 2010 alone, each candidate for Senate received an average donation of $40,000 from the oil and gas industries they’re supposed to be regulating.
Money spewing into the environment
The corruption polluting our environment goes far beyond campaign cash. The oil and gas industries spent $146 million lobbying Congress in 2011. That’s $146 million for drilling, fracking, and mountain top mining rights — spewing soot into your lungs and leaching methane into your drinking water. $146 million colluding with government officials as they rewrite U.S. law to earn themselves another year of campaign contributions. It is legalized bribery, but it has become business as usual in Washington.
You get what you pay for
The powerful interests that buy our government know one thing for sure — you get what you pay for. What they get is the ability to spew carbon and coal ash into the air and give our kids asthma while destroying our very life support system. What they get are tremendous tax breaks, like the $4 billion in oil subsidies the American people pay out of pocket every year. The American Lung Association gets it: “Though EPA adopted final standards, big polluters & their Congressional allies are trying to block EPA from implementing them.”
Let the facts decide, not the cash
As long as oil and coal companies fund our campaigns and think tanks, then our politicians will be beholden to them. That means that the only way to really restructure our environmental policies is to get money out of politics.
If you care about the environment, then you should care about corruption. It’s time to declare: The Environment is Not For Sale
Get the facts about money in politics and the environment
- Opponents of Obama’s proposed climate bill outspent environmentalists 8:1 on lobbying. Source: OpenSecrets
- Lobbyists spent $543 million to kill Obama’s climate bill. Source: ThinkProgress
- American taxpayers give $4 billion in tax breaks to Big Oil companies each year. Meanwhile, the typical American household will have spent $4,155 filling up their gas tank this year, which is a record high. Source: ThinkProgress
- Oil and gas industry PACs donated $6.6 million to federal candidates from January 2009 to June 2010. Source: ThinkProgress
- In 2008, influenced by the $385.9 million spent on lobbying by energy companies, Congress voted to lift a ban on offshore drilling. Source: OpenSecrets
- Republic Report: Corruption Kills: After Being Suppressed For Two Decades By Lobbyists, Study Reveals Link Between Diesel Exhaust And Cancer
- Republic Report: Polluter Front Group Targets Elementary School Children With Climate Change Denial Curriculum
- Republic Report: Rep. Upton Set To Host Hearing To Vilify EPA’s Boiler Regulations Hours After Fundraising With Boiler Lobbyists
- Republic Report: TransCanada Spent More Than $500,000 On Lobbying And Legal Fees In Nebraska — $10,000 Per Senator
- Republic Report: Seven Ways Koch Industries Is Monetizing The Fracking Business