The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
44 Senators Behind Keystone Bill Took $22.3 Million in Campaign Cash from Big Oil
Forty-four Senators who introduced legislation today backing the controversial Keystone XL pipeline received $22.3 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry since 1989, according to analysis by 350.org and Public Campaign Action Fund. The figures reflected data coded by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics and available on their website and include contributions through Sept. 30, 2011. Fourth quarter filings are due to the Federal Election Commission tomorrow.
The bill, which was announced on Jan. 30 by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and cosponsored by 42 GOP senators and one Democratic Senator, would approve the Keystone XL project despite the Obama Administration’s rejection of its permit following months of intensifying protest against it and studies downplaying its potential economic impact.
“We no longer can just accept business as usual on Capitol Hill—the idea that the fossil fuel lobby puts a quarter in the slot, turns the handle, and gets a shiny toy has to come to an end,” said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. “The nation's top scientists, not to mention ten recent winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, have explained why this is a lousy idea. That should speak as loudly as campaign cash.”
The analysis of campaign donations for the cosponsors found that seven of them have taken more than one million dollars over their careers from the oil industry. The cosponsors collectively received more than $1.1 million over the first three quarters of 2011, the last data available in advance of tomorrow’s FEC deadline.
“The introduction of this Keystone bill is not about jobs for Americans, it's about these Senators' trying to protect their own jobs,” commented David Donnelly, national campaigns director of Public Campaign Action Fund. “They're looking out for themselves, paying back their Big Oil donors, and trying to cash in for more Big Oil money.”
350.org is an international climate campaign that has helped lead protests against the Keystone XL pipeline. 350 parts per million is the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere according to the latest science (we’re now at 392 ppm).
Public Campaign Action Fund works to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Respecting scientists has never been a priority for the Trump Administration. Now, a new investigation from The Guardian revealed that Department of the Interior political appointees sought to play up carbon emissions from California's wildfires while hiding emissions from fossil fuels as a way to encourage more logging in the national forests controlled by the Interior department.
Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as "de-nihilism." One manifestation: An increasing number of people appear to have grown doubtful about the possibility of staving-off climate disaster. However, a new interactive tool from a climate think tank and MIT Sloan shows that humanity could still meet the goals of the Paris agreement and limit global warming.
Burrowing owls, which make their homes in small holes in the ground, are having a rough time in Florida. That's why Marco Island on the Gulf Coast passed a resolution to pay residents $250 to start an owl burrow in their front yard, as the Marco Eagle reported.
Hundreds of Amazon workers publicly criticized the company's climate policies Sunday, showing open defiance of the company following its threats earlier this month to fire workers who speak out on climate change.
East Africa is facing its worst locust infestation in decades, and the climate crisis is partly to blame.