Australian news, and some related international items

Americal Republican politicians get big money from coal companies, – wonder how many Australian Liberals do?


150 Congressional Republicans Represent Fossil Fuel Companies Instead of Their Communities , January 30, 2019 by ClimateDenierRoundup.

Last week, we mocked the fossil fuel industry’s use of an outlet it owns to brag about perverting democracy — but we didn’t actually call out the politicians in the industry’s pocket.

Lucky for us, the Center for American Progress Action Fund did just that this week. A new analysis from CAP tallies up the climate deniers in the 116th Congress. As it turns out, there are a lot: 150.

But that’s actually an improvement from last year, when there were 180. Of those 180, 47 are no longer serving: 22 were defeated in 2018, 16 retired, five resigned, and four went to other positions.

United States   150 out of 335 United States Members of Congress are climate deniers, collecting $68,359,582 in dirty money.

Top recipients

Mitch McConnell (R)  –  $3,018,793

Jim Inhofe  (R)            – $2,111,110

John Cornyn (R)         – $3,444,515

Ted Cruz (R)               – $3,372,000

Kevin Brady (R)          – $1,753,762

The number of climate deniers receiving fossil fuel funding elected to the 116th Congress. Credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund 

This may explain why the industry was so keen last week to assert the influence their money has. As it turns out, taking the cash may actually be a bad move for a candidate, since fossil-fuel funded candidates lost 30 seats in the 2018 elections (not factoring in the myriad of other factors at play, of course).

And make no mistake — it is the fossil fuel industry that demands denial, not average Americans. CAP Action Fund cites polling that shows a majority of Americans, including Republicans, know that climate change is real, that it is making weather more extreme, and that we should take action to reduce fossil fuel use.

Exact numbers obviously depend on the poll, but by and large it’s safe to say that a majority of all Americans, including some 55 percent to 66 percent of Republicans, support various types of climate action, including the policies in the Green New Deal.

What drives politicians to take positions opposed by the majority of people who vote for them? Well, money, of course. That’s why the report comes with a nifty interactive that shows you how many of each state’s members of Congress are in denial, as well as how much money they’ve received directly from the fossil fuel industry.

Mitch McConnell and Jim Inhofe top the list at $3 million and $2 million in dirty money over their careers, while the lifetime average among the 150 deniers is a scant $455,731 — which certainly sounds low. But that doesn’t include money spent on outside PACs and support.

The Kochs, for example, planned to spend $400 million on the 2018 election. That doesn’t include the additional money the Kochs spend bankrolling fake news operations like the Daily Caller. And even that’s hardly the only fossil fuel propaganda outlet! For example, there’s the Western Wire, where two of their writers, who also work as public relations strategists representing Exxon, recently posed as reporters to try and get information about one of the Exxon cases.

February 3, 2019 - Posted by | General News

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