Many of the environmental problems we face are political – a result of an energy policy that is rigged to favor special interests.

• The United States is 5% of the world’s population, yet consumes 25% of the world’s fossil fuels.
• More than 1,000 toxic Superfund sites remain dangerous due to lack of Congressional funding for clean-up.
• The United States remains oil-dependent, neglecting to invest in or support research and development of renewable energy alternatives.
• The oil and gas industry has given millions to candidates and parties to continue America’s dependence on fossil fuels.
• The energy sector as a whole gives multiple millions to campaigns each year, dwarfing the contributions from environmentalists.
• The race to provide more energy has led to energy companies threatening the water supply and destroying millions of acres with unregulated hydraulic-fracking techniques.
• Climate change deniers in Congress have blocked U.S. action to reduce climate change.

Disasters like the BP oil spill and others are the result of lax regulation by Congress and state legislatures that each year take millions from people representing oil and other energy companies

“Congress submits to the pressure of timber, oil, chemical, agribusiness and other big-money interests by trying to weaken environmental safeguards,” said former Sierra Club President Chuck McGrady. “The main reason many politicians side with the polluters is their never-ending need for campaign cash. Public campaign financing will eliminate the influence of donors who want to weaken environmental laws, and it will shift power back to voters and volunteers.”

There is hope…

Publicly financed campaigns, Fair Elections allows environmental advocates who lack financial support from big energy to run for office and help inform the debate on energy policy and environmental stewardship. With Fair Elections politics no longer can be dominated by oil, gas and energy company contributions to politicians.

Further reading:
Common Cause  http://www.commoncause.org/issues/money-in-politics/fighting-big-money/amend-us/silencing-science.pdf
Represent Us https://represent.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Issue-Environment.pdf
Sierra Club  http://www.sierraclub.org/politics-and-elections/koch-brothers-and-oil-money
Dirty Energy Money  http://www.dirtyenergymoney.com/
Earth Justice  http://earthjustice.org/

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