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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.
Among the report’s findings:
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.
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.
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.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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