At United Republic, Bill McKibben reports on the obscene amount of Big Oil lobbying each year in Congress. It amounts to $146 Million per year. Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison have launched a new bill that dramatically cuts subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. McKibben notes that no member of Congress makes rational arguments in favor of fossil fuel subsidies. No arguments need to be made, because money talks:
According to Open Secrets, the oil and gas industry has already spent $37.6 million lobbying the federal government in the first few months of the year alone. They also spend buckets of money on campaign contributions to persuade our elected officials to vote for policies they favor. A recent vote in the Senate revealed just how persuasive campaign cash can be. A bid to end taxpayer subsidies for the five biggest oil companies failed to get the 60 votes it needed. The 57 senators who voted to end the subsidies received about $6 million from the oil and gas industries, compared to a whopping $24 million pocketed by the 41 senators who voted against the bill.
No wonder America is so slow to move to elementary conservation methods and sustainable energy production. This is not a new story, of course, but a continuation of legalized bribery that infests the entire electoral system. Even worse, this is a system that severely punishes representatives who do the right thing.