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Improving environmental policies through campaign finance

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Improving environmental policies through campaign finance
Improving environmental
policies through campaign
finance reform
Democracy Matters
Selling Out
• Energy, Utilities, Chemical, and
Automotive Industries
– Campaign contributions from these industries
direct policies that affect the environment
Cheney’s Energy Task Force (made
of industry lobbyists)
• recommended: drilling in ANWR,
weakening regulation for air pollution
controls around power plants, building
new refineries, increasing reliance on
coal, and Increasing gas and oil
exploration on public land
• Contributed $54.5 million to Republicans,
$25.2 million to Democrats
• Environmental groups contributed
$411,300 to Republicans, $3.7 million to
Democrats
Electric Utilities Industry
• EPA’s New Source Review revised in
2002, 2003. (plants no longer had to install
pollution reducing technology)
– Republicans received $53.9 million
– Democrats received $32.4 million
Oil and Chemical Industries
• Oil/Chemical industries wish to shift
Superfund cleanup burden to
consumers
– Contributed $158.6 million to
Republicans, $54 million to Democrats
• Congress refused to authorize
Superfund taxes on these industries
– Consumer take 71% of the cleanup
burden
Auto Industry and Unions
• Auto Industry (and congress) resists efforts to
raise fuel efficiency standards (the single biggest
step to curb global warming)
– Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards remained
at 1975 levels with SUVs getting special treatment
– Hummers got up to $100,000 in tax deductions in 2003
• Congress sold out to the Auto and Unions
–
–
–
–
Republicans got $66.8 million
Democrats got $23.1 million
Unions gave Democrats $18.3 million
Unions gave Republicans $198,000
Solution: Clean Elections
• Limit the influence these industry have on
environmental policy
– Congressmen no longer have to depend on
these vast sums to keep their jobs
– Levels the playing field between corporate and
environmental interests
• Reduce the corrupting influences of
money
– Congress can legislate in the interests of their
constituents rather than their donors
Strategies
• Push for Clean Elections on the State
level
– Participate in Lobby day at the end of
the month
– Sign the DM petition
• Make Campaign Finance Reform an
environmental issue
– Inform members
Other benefits of clean elections
– Improve voter turnout
– Opens political process to underrepresented groups
– Liberates politicians from any obligation
to large contributors
– More competitive elections
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