Follow the (Dirty Energy) Money

Image courtesy of<a href="http://dirtyenergymoney.org/">DirtyEnergyMoney.org</a>.


How much influence is dirty energy wielding in Congress? There’s now a convenient one-stop shop for finding that information. Oil Change International, along with a long list of partners, launched DirtyEnergyMoney.org on Tuesday, a new hub that allows users to follow the fossil fuel money.

On the site, we learn that 110th Congress (2007-2008) was the “dirtiest,” with fossil fuel interests spending a record $22,713,081 to influence policy. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) takes the award for “Dirtiest Politician,” accepting more than $1.8 million from fossil fuel interests since 1999. Oil giant Koch Industries, which Blue Marble readers will recognize as a major funder of climate change denial work, is the has spent the most of any individual company on buying Congress since 1999, at $4,382,491. The site also uses graphics to illustrate the ties between the energy industry and our representatives.

Some other interesting findings that they’ve compiled from the statistics:

Overall, the coal industry has been friendlier to the Democrats than Republicans thus far in the 111th Congress, with over $3.7 million going to Democratic members of the House and Senate, compared with about $2.8 million to Republicans.

Republicans continue to take more oil and gas money, with the oil and gas industry contributing over $5.1 million to Republicans and $3.1 million to Democrats.

They also note that the senators who voted in favor of a measure to take away the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate planet-warming gases in June “took on average two and a half times as much Dirty Energy Money as those who voted against it.”

Appalachian Voices, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Energy Action Coalition, Earthworks, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, MoveOn, Public Citizen, True Majority, 1Sky, and 350.org are partners in the site.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.