Washington, D.C. — A new analysis released today by the Center for American Progress examines the hundreds of millions of dollars in political spending by the oil, gas, and coal industries in the 2014 midterm election cycle in an attempt to set the pro-fossil-fuel agenda of the next Congress.
According to the analysis of contributions, lobbying data, and advertising spending, the fossil-fuel industry directly invested $721 million—and perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars more through contributions to outside groups—in order to secure a Congress friendly to its fossil-fuel agenda. Of these investments, the fossil-fuel industry directly contributed more than $64 million to candidates and political parties, spent more than $163 million on television ads across the country, and paid almost $500 million to Washington lobbyists in the two years leading up to the November 2014 elections.
“The coal, oil, and gas industries have put more than three-quarters of a billion dollars on the table to elect a sympathetic Congress and put their priorities at the top of the pile in the coming year,” said Matt Lee-Ashley, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. “Already, the fossil-fuel industry’s investments appear to be paying off in the form of special-interest giveaways on public lands, anti-environment riders, and promises by the incoming congressional leadership of new attacks on clean air and clean water.”
In addition to estimates of direct spending by the fossil-fuel industry, the analysis notes that the industry likely spent hundreds of millions of dollars more through the extensive Koch network, as well as through other outside groups for which detailed spending information is not available.
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