When Big Oil and Big Gas whine about how taxing their pollution or regulating their pollution will break their back, remember this and tell them: “Cry me a river.”
LOBBYING: Oil, gas companies on record-setting spending spree (Friday, June 19, 2009)
Lobbying by oil and gas companies has been on the rise ever since Democrats regained the majority in Congress in 2006, but the industry is on pace to set new records in spending this year as lawmakers debate comprehensive climate change legislation.
The industry spent $44.5 million in the first quarter of 2009 lobbying Congress and other federal agencies to fight taxes on drilling and temper efforts to wean the country off petrofuels.
Last year’s total of $129 million was 73 percent above the previous year, a faster increase than in any other major industry, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
“They’re under attack, they’re ramping up their operations, and they’ve got money to spend,” said Tyson Slocum, who runs the energy program at the watchdog group Public Citizen. “They’re in much better position than other industries to draw upon financial resources for their lobbying effort.”
The drug industry, which spent $66.6 million in the first quarter, was the only group to outspend oil and gas.
ExxonMobil Corp. spent $9.3 million during the quarter, a three-fold increase over last year’s first-quarter spending and the most of any oil company. Combined, the three largest U.S. oil firms — ExxonMobil, Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips — spent about $22 million during the quarter (John Porretto, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, June 19). — PT
Is it too much to ask that they spend a few of those millions to stop endangering public health and safety?