A total of 1,150 different companies and advocacy organizations have participated so far this year in lobbying Congres on climate change, an increase of more than 30 per cent this year alone.
According to records compiled by the Center for Public Integrity, energy interests and heavy industry led the charge, with agri-business coming in with a huge new push to protect or promote the (highly debatable) benefits of biofuels.
The Centre for Public Integrity couldn’t attach a dollar figure to the over all lobbying effort, but the Associated Press had already reported that oil and gas lobbyists had spent $44.5 million in lobbying in the first quarter alone – a rate of spending that will shatter last year’s record-breaking annual total of $129 million. (Even that number was up 73 per cent over the previous two years.)
Facing legions of lobbyists at work and a faked public outcry at home (see next story), is it any wonder that U.S. legislators have watered down legislation – or simply failed to react to the risks of climate change? They can’t hear the scientists over the self-interested and highly choreographed shouting.