The Clean Water Blog

Money in Politics Cover

The Chilling Effect of Oil & Gas Money on Democracy

The oil and gas industry’s influence over our democracy is huge. It exploits loopholes in weak campaign finance laws to get polluter-friendly politicians elected. Then the industry spends massive amounts of money to gut good environmental and community protections. On top of all of that, the industry had a chance to influence landmark laws like the Safe Drinking Water Act when they were written. This has a devastating impact on our communities, environment, and public health.

We wanted to learn more — so we did some research. And what we found was shocking.

  • Did you know that in 2014 the oil and gas industry spent over $141 million on lobbying on Capitol Hill? That’s over $380,000 a day!
  • In the last Presidential election, the industry spent $153 million promoting a future centered on oil, gas and coal.
  • Federal and state governments “give away” over $21 billion each year to incentivize development of fossil fuels.
  • The oil and gas industry and ultra-rich donors also funnel millions of dollars through Super PACs and “dark money” organizations that hide where the money originated.

What does all this mean for your efforts to help support policies to protect our health and the environment?

Oil and gas industry money has a chilling effect on our democracy. Simply put, oil and gas interests overshadow your interests.

Read our full report to learn more about how this money helps polluters convince Congress to make it harder for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect our environment and communities.