In USA cashed up fossil fuel front “think tanks” wage war on renewable energy
Renewable Energy Under Siege In The USA http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3326 by Energy Matters, 7 Aug 12, Renewable energy faces opposition from cashed-up fossil fuel supporters in Australia; but it’s nothing compared to what is going on in the USA at the moment. While solar energy, wind power and other clean energy sources have always hit opposition in the USA, the smearing has hit new levels as the nation prepares to vote and crucial renewable energy support mechanisms are under review.
The Sierra Club has released a report revealing how the fossil fuel industry is using tactics such as financial contributions to political campaigns, fake think tanks and faux intellectuals to attack renewable energy in order to alter public opinion and the views of lawmakers. “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, executive director of the Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club’s report claims the oil and gas industry spent more than $146 million on lobbying alone in 2011 and organizations such as the Manhattan Institute and the Heartland Institute that defend oil subsidies while attacking renewable energy have received in excess of $600,000 each since 1998 from the oil company Exxon. The report states the oil and gas industry contributed to 88 percent of all members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 89% of Senators in the 2010 election cycle.
Quoting data from Open Secrets; ConocoPhillips spent $20.5 million on lobbying last year and Royal Dutch Shell, $14.79 million. Add to those figures spending by ExxonMobil, Chevron, the American Petroleum Institute, and Koch Industries and the grand total comes to more than $74 million in 2011.
The report comes at a crucial time as a crucial element of support for wind energy – the Production Tax Credit (PTC) – may be lost at the end of this year. The PTC helps support the more than 75,000 jobs in the wind industry and many as half those jobs could be lost if it is not renewed.
The report, titled “Clean Energy Under Siege – Following the Money Trail Behind the Attack on Renewable Energy”, can be viewed in full here (PDF).
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