Washington, D.C. — Today the Center for American Progress published a new report with an accompanying video looking at the influence of campaign money from oil and gas companies on judicial elections, and specifically highlighting cases involving local fracking regulations in Ohio.
The report details how communities in Ohio and other states have tried to regulate fracking or fracking wastewater, which can pose a threat to drinking water. The supreme courts of these states are the final interpreters of the state constitution and determine whether cities and towns have the authority to regulate fracking and other pollution. The judges who make up these courts, however, are too often receive large campaign contributions from oil and gas companies.
“Every election year we’re seeing more campaign cash in state supreme courts, including those deciding whether communities can regulate important and wide-reaching issues like fracking,” said Billy Corriher, Director of Research for Legal Progress at the Center for American Progress, and author of the report. “Advocates for local fracking rules should push for reforms to how we choose judges. It is time we get big money out of our courts, and reforms such as public financing can make it clear to voters that judges are not influenced by the polluters who give them campaign cash.”
Read the full report, “Big-Money Courts Decide Fate of Local Fracking Rules,” here.
Watch the video, “Dirty Money, Dirty Water II,” here.
For more information or to speak to an expert on this topic, please contact Tanya Arditi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.741.6258.