Center for American Progress

RELEASE: A First Look at the Fossil-Fuel and Anti-Environment Agenda of the Next Congress
Press Release

RELEASE: A First Look at the Fossil-Fuel and Anti-Environment Agenda of the Next Congress

Washington, D.C. — A new analysis released today by the Center for American Progress examines how massive political spending by the Koch brothers and other special interests in yesterday’s election will guide an aggressive fossil-fuel and anti-environment agenda in the next Congress.

Although media coverage has largely focused on the likelihood that Republican leadership in the 114th Congress will mandate the approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and attempt to prevent the Obama administration from implementing rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the authors argue that these are just two elements of a sweeping energy and anti-environmental agenda that will be tailored to fossil-fuel interests.

“The oil and gas industry and other special interests spent big on yesterday’s election and now expect those investments to pay off in the new Congress,” said Matt Lee-Ashley, a Senior Fellow at the Center and Director of the Public Lands Project. “From fast tracking the exports of American energy supplies to blocking new protections of parks, wilderness, and public lands, the agenda in the next Congress will be written by and for special interests.”

The analysis notes that the incoming Congress will likely not only launch a broad attack on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s, or EPA’s, efforts to protect clean air and water, but also will aim to achieve four other fossil-fuel industry and anti-environment priorities, namely:

  • Fast tracking exports of U.S. natural gas, coal, and oil to foreign markets
  • Halting the creation of new parks and wilderness areas
  • Rolling back investments in renewable energy
  • Opening the Atlantic Ocean and environmentally sensitive lands to oil and gas drilling

“Americans want to see a balance between conservation and development on America’s public lands and waters, but that balance may tip if the new Congress is able to put its thumb on the scales with costly giveaways of taxpayer-owned resources,” added Lee-Ashley.

Read the analysis: Payback: A First Look at the Fossil-Fuel and Anti-Environment Agenda of the Next Congress by Claire Moser and Matt Lee-Ashley

Related resources:

For more information on this topic, contact Tom Caiazza at 202.481.7141 or [email protected].


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