But with dark money being protected in political campaigns, over two billion dollars could be going to climate obstructionists, just this year.
I think we all know the reason that we are over 20 years behind in our transition to a climate safe infrastructure. When Big Coal/Oil’s own scientists realized that burning fossil fuels was heating up the planet (1960's)- they had two choices. 1) Begin the transition to clean energy or 2) Protect their reign of power by protecting the fossil fuel market. The choice of Door #2 was not necessarily a financial choice, as a smooth transition, capturing the clean energy marketplace, would have put these companies in a superior position and protected them from irrelevance. It was a power move.
And politics is the place to wield power. So when in 1987, Bush’s chief of staff John Sununu became a vocal roadblock to climate policy, using the classic tobacco play book, and questioned the science of climate change, a dangerous partnership was formed. Big Oil and Big Government worked together for decades to forward their own agenda for the United States, at the expense of the will of the people, who have overwhelming been in favor of a healthy planet to live out healthy lives.
But it gets worse. We know about the donations of Big Oil and the Koch brothers and the usual suspects. But did you know that most all of the S&P100 companies (the Big Guys) give nearly twice as much https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2020-election-company-campaign-finance-climate-change/?srnd=green to climate obstructionists as to climate champions in Congress? From cable companies to airlines- your purchasing dollars are being transformed into lobbying dollars that keep you from having a voice in sensible climate friendly legislation. Yes, corporations give to both sides (you have to cover the odds) but they overwhelming support those who will protect entrenched corporate interests over the interests of innovation and common sense.
We would all like to dial down the partisanship in our country, but the fact is that these super funded climate obstructionists are Republicans. Yes, Democrats get corporate money too, but not as much and not enough to sway their votes against climate action.
This is public knowledge as both the corporate records and the campaign records are available to the public. It is handy to have groups like Bloomberg Green and the League of Conservation voters to pull the data together for us. No doubt, gerrymandering, makes these corporate funded politicians smug about their ability to get re-elected without listening to the cries of the public to put an end to the fossil fuel madness.
Gerrymandering needs to go!
But that is just the money we know about. Over 2 billion dollars in “dark money” has already been raised for the next election cycle. Dark money is donated by Political Action Committees (PACs) who do not have to disclose who put the money into the PAC. These anonymous donations exploded since the Supreme Court gave them the green light in Citizens United in 2010. Who would be hiding their donations? What does the trend in corporate giving tell us about where this dark money is going?
Dark money needs to be brought out into the light!
We have gotten used to the idea that corporations and the super wealthy buy politicians, and they get to make the rules. While we march, and meet, and conserve and write, and organize — loopholes in our election laws shrink our voice to a teeny, tiny Who in Who-ville. We are making a difference, as we join our voices, but should we really need to fight so hard to be heard over the non-citizens- the Corporations?
The (HR1) For the People Act has passed the House and now needs to pass the Senate. It ends gerrymandering, uncovers dark money and gives each citizen a voice and vote. We know that the anti-climate Senators will not vote for this groundbreaking voter protection act. They won’t even allow it to come up for debate, much less a vote. If the Pro-Climate Senators do get it to the floor, Republicans will use the filibuster to keep it from going to a vote.
It is time to reform the filibuster. Did you know that today’s filibuster doesn’t even require a Senator to be in the room, much less to keep talking? That is right. Re-instating the talking filibuster or carving out exceptions for civil rights legislation are two ways that we can protect the intent of the filibuster, while not allowing it to be used to stop voting rights.
To protect our right to protect our climate- we need to take two steps: 1) reform the filibuster so that 2) we can pass For the People in the Senate.
Otherwise, $2 Billion in unmarked bills from entities that are not even citizens could be fighting against our future.