Intense Lobbying Behind Passage of Climate Change Bill in House

Date: June 26, 2009

Source: News Room

For many industries, particularly the energy sector, the stakes are huge in the landmark climate and energy bill that recently passed in the House of Representatives this week. Consequently, efforts to lobby Congress have been intense with many groups spending more this year than ever despite the recession.

A recent report by the Center for Responsive Politics indicates that Oil and gas companies, agricultural services and product makers, alternative energy producers, environmental groups, and those in the natural gas businesses spent more than they did last year. For the 10 energy interests analyzed, the oil and gas industry led the pack on spending. It shelled out $44.5 million in the first three months of this year, compared with $30.1 million spent in the same quarter in 2008. For all of last year, oil and gas spent $130 million, at the time a record for the industry. If the pace set by this year's first quarter continues, it would result in a $178 million lobbying total for the year.

Many in that industry criticize what they see as an inequity in how lawmakers distributed "free allowances," permits that will let utilities and other sectors emit some carbon without being charged in the early years of the cap-and-trade program.

Lobbying spending leaders

Industry sector 1st quarter 2009 1st quarter 2008 Biggest spender in 1st quarter, 2009
Oil & Gas $44.5 million $30.1 million Exxon Mobil, $ 9.3 million
Electric Utilities $35.1 million $35.2 million Edison Electric, $2.6 million
Chemical & Related Manufacturing $10.5 million $10.8
million Dow Chemical, $ 1.7 million
Agricultural Services/Products $8.7 million $7.4
million Monsanto Co., $2.1 million
Alternate Energy Production & Services $7.2 million $6.8
million American Wind Energy Association, $1.2 million
Mining $5.5 million $7.3 million CONSOL Energy,
Environmental $4.7 million $4.3 million Nature
Conservancy, $850,000
Forestry & Forest Products $3.3 million $3.8
million Weyerhaeuser, $890,000
Natural Gas Transmission & Distribution $3.3
million $3.0 million Williams Cos., $750,000

Source: Center for Responsive Politics.

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