If you watched all three presidential debates, you hardly heard a word uttered about climate change, (although we came close in one of the three debates). But as we’ve seen with our current administration, it doesn’t just matter if the president acknowledges and wants to act to prevent the harmful effects of climate change. Congress has never passed any legislation to curb the effects of fossil fuel consumption. This dismal record probably has something to do with the millions of dollars that fossil fuel companies are “investing” in a Congress that won’t do anything to hurt their bottom line.
So when our client ClimateTruth.org approached us to build an online tool for the 2016 election cycle, exposing the biggest recipients of the fossil fuel money, we jumped for joy (then we got to work). Last week we helped them launch NoFossilFuelMoney.org.
NoFossilFuelMoney.org lets you look at any candidate for Congress in the current cycle and see how much money they have accepted from fossil fuel companies. They’re using researched data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
Campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies have the potential you might expect: when a fossil fuel company connects itself to a candidate, they are creating a disincentive for that person, when elected, to take bold steps for climate change. ClimateTruth.org has a quick summary with some highlights of the data on the $29 million in recorded contributions from fossil fuel companies this cycle.
Here are a few of those highlights:
- Fossil fuel companies have contributed $1.1 million to candidates who serve on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in the 2016 campaign cycle. (Mostly to Republicans and some to Democrats).
- Every incumbent senator running for reelection is a recipient of fossil fuel money.
- Five candidates have accepted over $500,000 from fossil fuel companies. One of the top five is House Speaker Ryan (with over $1 million for his House race) highlighting how focused these corporations are on strategic investments that protect their bottom line.
But we ordinary citizens also have bottom lines: we want a world that can sustain our children and grandchildren without the catastrophic effects of climate change.
Go to NoFossilFuelMoney.org and look up any candidate who is running to represent you in Congress. See what sort of money they’re pulling in from fossil fuel companies and their employees. Use the “Tweet @” option on the site to send a quick message them that you care about climate, you know about their contributions, and you want them to take bold action on climate before it’s too late.
Or Tweet the candidate’s profile page on NoFossilFuelMoney.org so that your friends and neighbors can see how much money is in their campaign coffers from fossil fuel companies.
You can also sign a petition asking candidates to reject fossil fuel money and act on climate change.
What Congress does or doesn’t do on climate matters, and it matters more with each passing day. You can use the information at NoFossilFuelMoney to make sure that they know you care more about climate and future generations than you care about protecting profits for fossil fuel companies.
You can also learn more about how to move the federal government and US corporations to take action on climate by visiting ClimateTruth.org.
Kathleen Pequeño @kpequeno is Senior Account Manager at Fission Strategy and lives in Brooklyn, New York.