In response to Mitch McConnell calling for a vote on Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-MA) Green New Deal resolution, Oil Change U.S. conducted a dirty energy money analysis between fossil fuel donations to Congress and those co-sponsoring Sen. Markey’s Green New Deal resolution. Alex Kaufman at the HuffingtonPost reported on the findings in a front-page story, highlighting that “Senators Not Backing Green New Deal Received On Average 7 Times As Much Fossil Fuel Cash.”

As outlined in the HuffingtonPost piece, the 88 senators who have declined to endorse the resolution have accepted nearly $59 million from the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to just over $1 million going to the 12 current cosponsors of the resolution. On average, that amounts to about $670,000 per nonbacker, or more than 7 times the dirty energy money taken by those declining to support the resolution than the average of those cosponsoring the Green New Deal.

Our analysis, using data from the Center for Responsible Politics, included publicly available filings dating as far back as 1989 for current members in Congress, and included donations from both corporate political action committees and individuals who gave $200 or more.

The key numbers breakdown:

  • Combined fossil fuel contributions to Senators not cosponsoring the Green New Deal: nearly $59,000,000
  • Average lifetime dirty energy money per Senator not cosponsoring the Green New Deal: $669,930
  • Average lifetime dirty energy money per Senator cosponsoring the Green New Deal: $90,295

As David Turnbull of Oil Change U.S. told HuffingtonPost, “The Green New Deal shows the level of ambition that climate and energy policy could have if Big Oil, Gas, and Coal’s grip on Washington were weakened. The cosponsors of the Green New Deal have by and large bucked the influence of the out-of-control fossil fuel industry, and that shows in their willingness to stand up for bold climate solutions like what we see in the Green New Deal resolutions.”

This confirms the gripping influence that the industry has on Washington’s politics, and reveals the importance of getting fossil fuel money out of our political system. While the dubious forces working against a Green New Deal seek to drown our voices with dirty money, we must encourage our elected representatives to reject this toxic influence and sign the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, prioritizing the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits. Thus far, 5 co-sponsors of Sen. Markey’s resolution have signed the pledge, with over 40 members Congress and 1,300 candidates nationwide backing the pledge.


Read more about our analysis featured in the Huffington Post:
Senators Not Backing Green New Deal Received On Average 7 Times As Much Fossil Fuel Cash,” Huffington Post, 02-21-2019

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