For Immediate Release
Steve Carpinelli (202) 481-1225
Latest Center for Public Integrity Analysis Reveals Explosive Growth in the Climate Change Lobby
Washington can now boast more than four climate lobbyists for every member of Congress
WASHINGTON - The number of lobbyists seeking to influence federal policy on climate change has grown more than 300 percent in five years, with a slew of new interests from Main Street to Wall Street adding to the challenge of addressing global warming, according to a new Center for Public Integrity report, The Climate Change Lobby. The report provides a first-of-its-kind look at the universe of special interests shaping debate in the United States and how it has sharply expanded between 2003— when Congress previously voted on climate change— and 2008.
- More than 770 companies and organizations hired 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.
- In 2003, 70 percent of the interests weighing in on climate 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.
- Finance, insurance and investment firms, with virtually no presence in the climate debate on Capitol Hill in 2003, last year had as many lobbyists as alternative energy firms— about 130. Their interest is in shaping the rules of a market-based “cap-and-trade” system.
- Cities, counties and public agencies, with a handful of lobbyists in 2003, by last year had more than 100, focused primarily on how Congress might distribute potential revenue in a climate program.
- Despite the huge growth in the number of environmental, health and alternative energy lobbyists, they are outnumbered by industry and other interests 8-to-1.
We know things are bad. We know it's worth the fight.
You are part of a strong and vibrant community of thinkers and doers who believe another world is possible. Alone we are weak. Together we can make a difference. At Common Dreams, we don't look away from the world—we are not afraid—our mission is to document those doing wrong and galvanize those doing good. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. We have now launched our annual Summer Campaign. Can you pitch in today?
The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy. We are committed to transparent and comprehensive reporting both in the United States and around the world.