Friday, March 18, 2016

Oil and Gas Industry Has Pumped Millions into Republican Campaigns

Hillary: Say No to Fossil Fuel $$$ (Photo credit: Steve Marcus | Greenpeace) Click to Enlarge.
Republican presidential hopefuls are taking in millions from mega-rich fossil fuel interests

Fossil fuel millionaires collectively pumped more than $100m into Republican presidential contenders’ efforts last year – in an unprecedented investment by the oil and gas industry in the party’s future.

About one in three dollars donated to Republican hopefuls from mega-rich individuals came from people who owe their fortunes to fossil fuels – and who stand to lose the most in the fight against climate change.

[While Republicans are generally the big polluters’ favorites, Hillary Clinton has received considerable fossil fuel money as well.  Only 7 percent of her super PAC’s haul came from fossil fuel interests, but that amounts to $3.25 million.]

The scale of investment by fossil fuel interests in presidential Super Pacs reached about $107m last year – before any votes were cast in the Republican primary season. 

Campaign groups said the funds raised questions about what kind of leverage the fossil fuel industry might enjoy if the Republicans were to take the White House.

Ted Cruz, the Texas senator seen as having the best chance of stopping Donald Trump from clinching the Republican nomination, was among the biggest beneficiaries of fossil fuel support to his Super Pac.

Cruz, who more than any other Republican candidate openly rejects mainstream science on climate change, banked some 57% of the funds to his Super Pac, or about $25m, from fossil fuel interests, according to campaign filings compiled by Greenpeace and reviewed by the Guardian.

The Texas senator, who picked up three states on Super Tuesday compared to seven for Trump, told NPR in December that climate change was a fiction concocted by liberals who want control over the economy.  “The scientific evidence doesn’t support global warming,” he claimed at the time.

Greenpeace, which helped compile the filings with the Guardian, said Cruz’s rejection of climate science was a factor of his heavy reliance on fossil fuel funding.

“Ted Cruz’s complete denial of climate change science is perfectly in line with the business interests of his biggest funders,” said Jesse Coleman, a Greenpeace oil and gas campaigner. “These fossil funders have made denying climate change and ignoring scientists a prerequisite for being a Republican candidate.”

Read more at Oil and Gas Industry Has Pumped Millions into Republican Campaigns

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