- Category: Politics
09 Aug 2012
- Published on Thursday, 09 August 2012 11:27
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The fossil fuel industry has been using various schemes to shift public opinion and discredit renewable energy over the past decade in an attempt to hinder the latter’s growth, a report from Sierra Club suggests.
The report, Clean Energy Under Siege, claims that the fossil fuel industry is using tactics such as financial contributions to political campaigns, faux “think tanks,” “phony” intellectuals, and astroturf groups in order to discourage renewable energy.
The campaigning also contributed to the struggle to renew the Production Tax Credit for wind energy, which keeps more than 75,000 jobs in the wind industry unless the tax credit is not renewed before the end of this year.
"From California to Pennsylvania, clean energy jobs are under attack by fossil fuel interest groups – yet many in Congress are sitting on their hands while tens of thousands of American jobs hang in the balance," said Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director.
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He adds that Congressmen “prefer serving the interests of the big polluters that bankrolled their campaigns over the interests of working families,” and should “stand up for the tens of thousands of Americans whose jobs are on the line and renew the Production Tax Credit.”
They have also staged their own attacks on the industry through the Solyndra investigations and the Pompeo bill, or the “Energy Freedom and Economic Prosperity Act.”
The report followed the trail of money from big polluters to politicians and nonprofit groups, including a claim of the oil and gas industry spending more than $146 million on lobbying alone in 2011, and funding 85 right-wing “think tanks” and advocacy groups.
They add that organizations like the Manhattan Institute and the Heartland Institute are defending oil subsidies and attacking renewable energy, after having received at least $600,000 each since 1998 from oil company Exxon.
The oil and gas industries contributed to 387 – or 88 percent – of all members of the House of Representatives in the 2010 election cycle, the report finds. The industry also contributed to 89 out of 100 senators. In both chambers of Congress combined, Republicans received 86 percent of all oil and gas donations.
The report then called on to clean energy industries to “rise to the challenge,” and help keep jobs. “We will win by providing the best solutions for America and the world,” the Sierra Club said. – EcoSeed Staff