Ending Corporate Control in Congress

Ending Corporate Control in Congress

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By Kelly Trout

Catastrophes like the drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico don’t have to happen. We have a surplus of existing solutions that can propel us toward an oil-free and climate-secure future.

Because the federal government has a vital role to play in catalyzing this transformation, Friends of the Earth continues to push Congress to pass comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation.

Unfortunately, the latest proposal, the American Power Act, more closely resembles a polluter wish list.

Table of Contents

President’s Column

Introduction: A Crude Awakening

Behind the Scenes:
Severin Skolrud

Ethanol Greenwash:
Not Clean, Not Green

Ending Corporate Control in Congress

Trading Away Peoples’ Rights

Costing Oceans an Arm and a Leg

Toxic Dispersants in the Gulf

Global Solutions for a Global Crisis

Clean Energy Future:  Available Now

Introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) in the wake of the April 20 oil rig explosion, the bill includes a smorgasbord of concessions to corporate polluters. It would strait-jacket parts of the Clean Air Act. And it provides incentives for states to surrender more of their coastlines to oil rigs.

The result is a bill ridden with loopholes that would enable business-as-usual pollution to continue for way too long and delay the transition to an economy powered by clean energy.

One good that could emerge from the oil disaster in the Gulf is motivating more members of the public to get engaged and demand solutions that protect people and the planet – not polluters.

There are hopeful signs emerging. On June 10, a majority of senators voted down a resolution spearheaded by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and polluter lobbyists that would have eviscerated the Clean Air Act as a tool to cut climate pollution. This was a victory achieved in large part by citizens across the country—including more than 30,000 Friends of the Earth members and activists—who mobilized to protect this landmark legislation.

Ultimately, our best long-term bet for achieving comprehensive solutions to the climate crisis is breaking the stranglehold corporations have been tightening around our democracy.

Friends of the Earth is taking corporate polluter influence head-on with a new campaign urging members of Congress to wipe their campaign accounts clean of the cash they’ve taken from Big Oil and donate it to the Gulf Coast Fund.

You can help by calling on your representative and senators in Congress to give up their dirty oil contributions.

Go to www.foe.org/bp-ten to see who’s taken the most BP money and take action to get oil money out of Washington.

To call the Washington, D.C. offices of your members of Congress, dial the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.