European polluters back Tea Party candidates
Some of Europe’s top polluters are funding the political campaigns of Tea Party candidates and others in the United States who deny global warming, according to a report by Climate Action Network Europe.
The twelve page report (.pdf) is based on information recently published by the Open Secrets database.
The European companies singled out as major polluters in the report are Lafarge, GDF-SUEZ, EON, BP, BASF, BAYER, Solvay and Arcelor Mittal.
Combined, these companies donated $107,200 to climate change deniers running for Senate seats. In addition, “their total support for senators blocking climate change legislation in the US amounts to $240,200, which is almost 80% of their total spendings in 2010 Senate race,” the report says.
By comparison, Koch Industries, a company that has helped fund the Tea Party movement and openly opposes President Obama’s economic policies, has donated $217,000.
Among those being supported by these European companies include Tea Party-backed Senator James Inhofe and Senator James DeMint. Inhofe has claimed that global warming is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people” and DeMint once seemed to imply that a snowstorm in Washington, DC invalidated global warming.
“Skepticism and outright denial of global warming are among the articles of faith of the Tea Party movement,” writes John M. Broder of the New York Times. “All are wary of the Obama administration’s plans to regulate carbon dioxide, a ubiquitous gas, which will require the expansion of government authority into nearly every corner of the economy.”
“These European companies are simultaneously lobbying against aggressive emissions reductions in Europe – and are arguing that such reductions should not be pursued until the United States takes action,” says the report. “The European companies are funding almost exclusively Senate candidates who have been outspoken in their opposition to comprehensive climate policy in the U.S., and candidates who actively deny the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is caused by people.”
The revelation comes after news that the United States Chamber of Commerce received money from 83 foreign companies.
A report by ThinkProgress calculates that the 83 companies, in total, contributed $885,000 to the Chamber general fund, which pays for political ads.
Republican Senator from Idaho Mike Crapo, who recently received the lowest possible score by the League of Conservation Voters, received $10,000 in contributions.
Other recipients included John Cornyn (R-TX), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), David Vitter (R-LA), Chuck Grassley (R-IO), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lisa Murkowski (I-AK).