Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Confidential Documents Show Fossil Fuel Industry Plotted With GOP AGs to Attack Clean Power Plan

Climate
Confidential Documents Show Fossil Fuel Industry Plotted With GOP AGs to Attack Clean Power Plan

By Climate Denier Roundup

On Sept. 27, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP) brought by industry and state attorneys general. While the merits of the case will be heard then, new revelations shine some light on the shady origin of this legal effort to prevent climate action.

Just 11 days before Republican attorneys general filed petitions against the CPP, they met with the chief executive of coal giant Murray Energy. Confidential documents "reveal a sustained pattern of collusion between the fossil fuel industry and the Republican attorneys general on climate change obstructionism," said Nick Surgey in a Center for Media and Democracy a press release.

Fossil fuel companies like Murray, Exxon and Koch Industries donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), the umbrella group responsible for organizing the GOP's election efforts of state AGs. The return on that investment is privileged access to the prosecutors, who then use that donated money for their reelection campaigns. The Center for Media and Democracy obtained documents detailing how much it costs corporations to become members of RAGA, as well as agendas for private meetings and staff retreats, attendance lists and more.

Is the funding similar on the other side of the aisle? It doesn't seem like it. Though Bloomberg is still waiting on similar document requests from Democrats, reporter Jennifer Dlouhy notes the fundraising disparity. RAGA has raised nearly $20 million in the past year and a half, compared to the DAGA's $6.7 million. RAGA has spent $3.1 million on election ads, compared to DAGA's $883,800. And RAGA's "membership list is thick" with energy companies and trade groups, while "only a handful" have donated to the Dems.

Surgey did not mince words in describing the nature of the relationship between the RAGA and the fossil fuel industry:

"State attorneys general are supposed to enforce the law and serve the public interest, but instead these Republican officials have hung a 'For Sale' sale on their door and the fossil fuel industry proved to be the highest bidder."

Clearly, the fossil fuel industry recognizes the value in funding these prosecutors, not only engendering good will but also offering direct access to lawyers capable of providing an official state lawsuit against policies that might inhibit profits. Though they probably see the situation through rosier lenses: The industry is just a kind benefactor offering financial donations to help keep a (state government) roof over the head of these poor RAGAmuffins.

A dugong, also called a sea cow, swims with golden pilot jacks near Marsa Alam, Egypt, Red Sea. Alexis Rosenfeld / Getty Images

In 2010, world leaders agreed to 20 targets to protect Earth's biodiversity over the next decade. By 2020, none of them had been met. Now, the question is whether the world can do any better once new targets are set during the meeting of the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Kunming, China later this year.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Jan. 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

By Andrew Rosenberg

The first 24 hours of the administration of President Joe Biden were filled not only with ceremony, but also with real action. Executive orders and other directives were quickly signed. More actions have followed. All consequential. Many provide a basis for not just undoing actions of the previous administration, but also making real advances in public policy to protect public health, safety, and the environment.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Melting ice forms a lake on free-floating ice jammed into the Ilulissat Icefjord during unseasonably warm weather on July 30, 2019 near Ilulissat, Greenland. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

A first-of-its-kind study has examined the satellite record to see how the climate crisis is impacting all of the planet's ice.

Read More Show Less
Probiotic rich foods. bit245 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Ana Maldonado-Contreras

Takeaways

  • Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that are vital for keeping you healthy.
  • Some of these microbes help to regulate the immune system.
  • New research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, shows the presence of certain bacteria in the gut may reveal which people are more vulnerable to a more severe case of COVID-19.

You may not know it, but you have an army of microbes living inside of you that are essential for fighting off threats, including the virus that causes COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
Michael Mann photo inset by Joshua Yospyn.

By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.

The New Climate War: the fight to take back our planet is the latest must-read book by leading climate change scientist and communicator Michael Mann of Penn State University.

Read More Show Less