Monday, May 11, 2009

Thousands of climate lobbyists besiege Congress

Just six years ago, 70 percent of the interests weighing in on climate issues in the nations capital were energy companies and manufacturers. But by 2008, those sectors made up only 45 percent of the total, despite their strong growth, because so many new interests had joined in the fray.

Today, more than 770 companies and organizations utilize some 2,340 lobbyists to work on climate change and spent at least $90 million lobbying in 2008.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity — a group of 48 companies — topped the list of those solely focused on the issue, spending $9.95 million.

These are just a few of the highlights in an illuminating new report, The Climate Change Lobby, published by the Center for Public Integrity.

The Obama Administration's desire to shift the nation's energy economy from one dominated by fossil-fuel interests to one accommodating energy alternatives like, wind, wave solar and biomass, has resulted in an interesting shift in lobbying alliances.

The Center reports that while:

" The nation's largest and most powerful industry groups--the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers--are now leading voices against climate action, "other industry coalitions, such as the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, want to see Congress act on greenhouse gases--as long as lawmakers take care to minimize their costs.
"Others, like the numerous alternative energy companies, are pursuing opportunities that would be available as a result of a new commitment to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. And then there are the Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, as well as private equity firms and new financial players, which would buy and sell emissions "permits' under a proposed "cap-and-trade" system favored by most pro-climate politicians, including Obama. Finally, there are the cities, public transit agencies, universities, and others sleeking piece of the pie--the revenue that a climate program would generate when power plants, oil companies, and others have to buy federal permits to continue emitting carbon dioxide."
We recommend that you read the report and then use the comment block or "comments" line below to share your thoughts with your fellow EnviroPolitics Blog readers.

The 'Clean-Coal' Lobbying Blitz
They've brought coal above ground. They've put the black rock on billboards and featured it in full-page ads. They seem to be everywhere in Washington. Who are those guys?

The Climate Lobbyists
A sampling of climate 'power players'

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