Published on
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri)

New Report Shows Explosive Growth in Climate Change Lobby

Kim McGuire

The number of lobbyists seeking to
influence federal policy on climate change has grown more than 300
percent in five years, according to a new report by the Center for
Public Integrity.

Among the report's findings: More than 770 companies and
organizations hired 2,340 lobbyists to work on climate change and spent
at least $90 million lobbying in 2008. The American Coalition for Clean
Coal Electricity - which includes St. Louis companies Ameren, Peabody
Energy, and Arch Coal - topped the list of those focused solely on the
issue, spending $9.95 million.

* Finance, insurance, and investment firms had as many lobbyists - about 130 - as alternative energy firms last year.

* Despite the huge growth in the number of environmental, health and
energy lobbyists, they are outnumbered by industry and other interests
8 to 1.

The report, The Climate Change Lobby,
includes a searchable database of climate lobbyists. Using disclosure
reports, the database reveals how much lobbyists were paid each year by
their clients.

The database shows former Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt was
paid $120,000 per quarter of 2008 by Peabody. Ameren is also listed as
one of Gephardt's clients.

In addition to Gephardt, the report lists former Senator John Breaux
of Louisiana and former Congressman Robert Livingston of Louisiana
among the "power players" of the climate change lobby.

"This new Center for Public Integrity report shows clearly how much
money is pouring into Washington on the issue of climate change," said
Center Director Bill Buzenberg. "What's also clear is how difficult it
will be for the Obama Administration to get meaningful climate change
legislation through in face of such an enormous lobbying push by so
many special interests."

Do you think the Obama administration will enact climate change
legislation during his tenure? Should "clean coal" play a role in
our energy future?

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