GOP “Pledge To America” is an oath to Big Oil — written by a former Exxon lobbyist!


Daniel J. Weiss authored this Wonk Room cross-post.

House Republicans just released “A Pledge to America,” its agenda for the 112th Congress if they take charge. The Republicans claim that their document “” written by former Exxon lobbyist Brian Wild “” is “one in which the people have the most say and the best ideas trump the most entrenched interests.”

When it comes to energy policy, the GOP leaders actually ignore public opinion, ignore science, and instead promote the same old ideas flogged by big oil lobbyists and other energy interests. The entire Republican energy policy is a single sentence:

We will fight to increase access to domestic energy sources and oppose attempts to impose a national “cap and trade” energy tax.

“Increase access to domestic energy sources” is code for “drill, baby, drill.” This language is straight out of big oil’s playbook, used for years by the oil industry’s lobbying groups:

[I]ncreasing access to domestic energy is critical to our nation’s security, economic growth, and quality of life. “” American Petroleum Institute, 2010

It’s time for the president to let the market access dependable, affordable and abundant domestic energy. “” Tim Phillips, President of the Americans for Prosperity, 2009

This multifaceted bill includes the building blocks of sound energy policy””efficiency, conservation, diversity, and expanded access to domestic energy supplies. “” Jack Gerard, American Chemistry Council, 2008

Increasing access to domestic resources will mean more jobs, more revenues to help cash-strapped local, state and federal governments and greater energy security.- American Petroleum Institute, 2009

The President again urges Congress to pass legislation that opens access to domestic energy sources such as the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “” President George W. Bush, 2007

We need to increase access to domestic energy sources. “” John Engler, President of the National Association of Manufacturers, 2007

Congress need[s] to increase access to domestic energy sources“¦ [to] significantly increase domestic oil and natural gas production. “” Competitive Enterprise Institute, 2006

The GOP support for more offshore oil drilling after the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster exposed its deadly risks contradicts, rather than reflects, public opinion. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that a majority of Americans opposes more offshore oil drilling.

The second measure in the Pledge’s skimpy energy policy is to “oppose attempts to impose a national “cap and trade” energy tax” “” Newt Gingrich’s language for a system to reduce global warming pollution from the largest power plants and other industrial sources. Here again the GOP leaders flout, rather than adhere to, public opinion. A myriad of opinion polls demonstrate strong support for global warming pollution reductions:

“” An NBC/Wall St. Journal poll conducted in late June found that Americans support global warming pollution reduction requirements by two to one, “even if it means an increase in the cost of energy.”

– A Yale/George Mason University June poll found that 77 percent of Americans support “regulating carbon dioxide (the primary greenhouse gas) as a pollutant,” including nearly two-thirds of Republicans.

– A June 2010 Benenson Strategy Group poll found that nearly two thirds of voters favored greenhouse gas pollution reductions even when given the argument that a cap and trade system was a “job-killing energy tax.” Only one quarter opposed it.

Another part of the GOP pledge “” really just an extended attack on President Obama’s plan to restore the American economy “” also rejects public opinion to score political points with oil, coal and other dirty fuel sources by halting clean energy investments made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:

Congress should move immediately to cancel unspent “stimulus” funds, and block any attempts to extend the timeline for spending “stimulus” funds.

Many of these Recovery Act funds are in the form of tax incentives to small- and medium-sized companies to build wind farms and solar energy systems, and to assist manufacturing firms that build clean energy equipment. An American Wind Energy Association analysis found that in 2009, the “U.S. wind industry broke all previous records by installing close to 10,000 megawatts of new generating capacity in 2009 thanks to Recovery Act incentives.” These popular and effective Recovery Act incentives “spurred the growth of construction, operations and management jobs,” helping the clean-energy industry “shine as a bright spot in the economy.”

Not surprisingly, the public overwhelmingly favors these clean-energy investments the Republicans want to kill. Eighty-four percent of Americans support “tax breaks to produce more electricity from water, wind, and solar power,” according to a recent Stanford University poll.

Rather than listening to the American people, the pledge listens to polluter lobbyists. The GOP leaders want to expand offshore oil drilling rather than reduce greenhouse gas pollution. They want to abandon clean energy jobs when they are most needed. The pledge is nothing more than an oath of allegiance to big oil, dirty coal, and other special interests. Fulfillment of the pledge would leave the United States with fewer jobs and more pollution.

— Daniel J. Weiss is Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy, Center for American Progress Action Fund.

h/t to Think Progress’s, “GOP’s Lobbyist-Authored ‘Pledge To America’ Drops Prior Pledge To Impose Earmarks Moratorium,” for the top image.

JR:  Here’s some of the recent polling:

54 Responses to GOP “Pledge To America” is an oath to Big Oil — written by a former Exxon lobbyist!

  1. Daniel Ives says:

    Hey Joe,

    OT – A National Renewable Energy Standard has been introduced into the Senate.

    So far it has a few Republican backers. Think it has a chance?

  2. Peter M says:

    The people of the USA have a big choice to make NOV 2nd

    Let them choose the GOP- it will only hasten the decline of the USA into a rump state of fractured geographic regions. A this point the USA is as ‘low’ as the Titanic-and its going far lower.

  3. mike roddy says:

    Ho hum, more Drill Baby Drill, in language that they think will resonate with the suckers. It’s obvious that the Republicans do not respect the intelligence of the public.

    In light of the mounting evidence of the effects of global warming, including from the poles, this campaign should really be called Kill Baby Kill.

  4. jcwinnie says:

    Dan, I assume you refer to the sentence in the draft of the pledge: “An arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites makes decisions, issues mandates, and enacts laws without accepting or requesting the input of the many” as the one that describes the GOP energy policy?

  5. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It is interesting how greatly US public opinion differs from that of the country’s plutocratic masters and their political stooges. I think the first step to the emancipation of the US public from its life as increasingly immiserated wage slaves, and towards avoiding climate catastrophe, must be to break the nexus between private money and political power. Because your country is a plutocacy masquerading as a democracy (like all capitalist economies), the richest in society have the greatest political power, hence the dominance of the fossil fuel, financial and Zionist lobbies. It has always been thus, as John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, boasted, when he said that ‘Those people who own this country are going to run this country’. To start you must outlaw private purchase of politicians through political ‘contributions’. Good luck!

  6. Mark Thompson says:

    Notice this site ignors teh ties to big Oil from Weird Al gore’s Occidental ownership shares to Democratic U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV ” Mr. Standard Oil ” and how Obama protected BP from the oil mysteriously disappearing from the Gulf?

    The doctored environmental data exposed and the money trail of activist lining their corrupt greedy pockets is well documented. The world has turned its back on the Great Global Warming Hoax. From Weird Al Gore’s ownership of high sulpher coal mines to his unfriendly eco mansion we are tired of lies and deceptions at he expense of shifting wealth from the average citizen to the eco lobbyist and their masters.

  7. Peter Bellin says:

    Too many US voters are motivated by emotion, simple promises, campaign ads, etc. I did not have to wait for the Republican agenda to be announced to know what is in it. The effective rejection of renewable energy is a reflection of the political and economic interests of the Republican party.

    Even with the tea party candidates, I expect big Republican gains in part due to the weak Democratic messaging that Joe has so clearly described.

  8. mauri pelto says:

    Quite the opposite direction from the U.K. opening largest offshore wind facility. Thanet

  9. mike roddy says:

    Thanks for the comic relief, Mark Thompson. May I suggest that you visit craigslist, and type in a search called “brains for sale” in the classified section.

  10. Peter M says:

    Obama and the Democrats suffer from weakness in their message- but also a lack of courage. Perhaps the innate stupidity of many Americans motivates them to vote against their own best interests-this has gone on for 30 years.

    But considering the republican ‘Pledge to America’ is the same old falsehoods and rehashed lies of ‘prosperity’ since 1980 and Reagan- with no real solutions to solve our growing problems- it seems their grandiose slogans are going to wear thin when the harsh realities of the new century’s problems are not solved by the ideas the GOP has promoted 30 or more years ago.

  11. Jim Groom says:

    I’m shocked I tell ya! What a surprise. Just follow the money and the tale is told.

  12. Colorado Bob says:

    Mark Thompson @ 6 –

    ignors teh ……. If you can’t spell , it under cuts my willingness to hear you out.

  13. Prokaryotes says:

    So, then let’s introduce a simple straight forward carbon tax.

    This is in fact a win win situation for energy companies, because they can be part in building the next gen energy infrastructure of this century.

    Nothing ever can top clean/green energy, and there is a lot of work in the process and money of course.

    Losers will be those, who miss to update existing energy strategies.

  14. Colorado Bob says:

    More from the “New Normal ” –

    Asia struggles to cope as storms spread destruction

    The storm on Tuesday — the start of the three-day Chuseok harvest festival — dumped almost 300 millimetres of rain on parts of Seoul, an all-time high for late September since records began in 1907.

    300 millimetres = 11.81 inches

  15. Colorado Bob says:

    Desert Dust Cuts Colorado River Flow

    The research team was led by Tom Painter, a snow hydrologist at both NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and UCLA. The team examined the impact of human-produced dust deposits on mountain snowpacks over the Upper Colorado River basin between 1915 and 2003.

    Studies of lake sediment cores showed the amount of dust falling in the Rocky Mountains increased by 500 to 600 percent since the mid-to-late 1800s, when grazing and agriculture began to disturb fragile but stable desert soils.

  16. homunq says:

    They also pledge to give “small business” tax cuts to S-type corporations – like Koch Industries. Cute.

  17. Sasparilla says:

    The GOP should have just called this the George Bush 2.0 policy plan.

  18. greg says:

    to mike roddy and Colorado Bob –

    One thing we desperately need is more new readers of CP. Though I doubt folks like Mark Thompson will be readily swayed by a reasonable dicussion of climate science, it can’t hurt for everyone to foster a more welcoming space. Inconsiderate and insulting responses are not going to change any minds. Please consider disagreeing with the misrepresentations and distortions of climate change deniers in a respectful, issue-based manner. Or better yet – ignore them.

    As an aside: do you really think Mark Thompson can not spell the word “the”? You seem intereseted in precision; this was clearly a mistake in typing, not spelling!

  19. greg says:


  20. Michael Tucker says:

    I think it is heartwarming. Republicans publically pledge their love and devotion to the oil companies. Do we throw rice? Maybe oil soaked animal carcasses? I have never been to one of these events before so I’m not sure. Will they be serving some of that interesting asphalt and rock salad at the reception?

  21. Lore says:

    The GOP was stuck to come up with something. Being squeezed by the public and their adopted far right Tea Party faction. So, they opted for a retread of Reagan/Bush economics and Gingrich platitudes. Obviously they are void of any real ideas, what a surprise.

  22. Peter M says:

    The American people in hard times are gullible enough to buy the bill of goods- too bad they will only make their future even more tenuous then today.

    The Corporate right wing had the huge message megaphone- the Democrats the quiet of Obama, Reid and Pelosi.

  23. mike roddy says:


    I’ll try to tamp it down, but after two years of butting heads with those guys on Dot Earth I learned that they are not going to change their minds. As you said, though, no reason to get pissy.

    I agree that we need new readers, of the kind who may be open minded fence sitters especially.

  24. Chris Winter says:

    Here’s a video of Eric Pooley’s talk at the Commonwealth Club recently:

    Pooley, a journalist with Bloomberg News, is the author of The Climate War.

    Courtesy of ClimateOne, an ongoing Commonwealth Club special project.

  25. Richard Brenne says:

    Mark Thompson (#4) writes: “Notice this site ignors teh ties to Big Oil from Weird Al gore’s Occidental ownership. . .”


    “The world has turned its back on the Great Global Warming Hoax.”

    Greg (#18) writes: “Inconsiderate and insulting remarks are not going to change any minds” and “Do you really think Mark Thompson (#4) can not spell the word “the”?

    Given the tone of his comment, maybe if you spot him the “t” and “h”.

    Greg, you’re right that the Climate Progress regulars want to welcome all open-minded newcomers to CP with kindness, gentle corrections and the like. Do the comments of Mark Thompson seem open-minded to you?

    Look at the quality of Mike Roddy’s comments – every time he comments they are extremely helpful, numbering into the many hundreds. I wouldn’t criticize him for this, I would thank him (and I do). Same with Colorado Bob, who provides CP readers with more useful links than any other commenter.

    So when trolls, deniers, attackers, pro-polluters and anti-science folks come visit CP, a few appropriate zingers are, well, appropriate.

  26. pex pipe says:

    Mulga I fully agree with you!

  27. TomG says:

    I have to agree with greg.
    People should not criticize Mark’s bad spelling.
    Those who thinks global warming is a hoax usually have poor lighting in their cave.

  28. catman306 says:

    I guess that’s an old GW Bush graphic. It’s left off many important corporate logos but thats OK. I especially appreciate the Southern Corporation logo with Bush.

    But the idea of associating corporate logos with candidates is EXCELLENT! Picture of Tea Party candidate surrounded by their sponsors corporate logos. Make those logos BIG.

    Plenty of corporate candidates, plenty of corporate logos. Someone, please, have a good time.

  29. Mark says:

    Colorado Bob says:
    September 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm
    Mark Thompson @ 6 –

    ignors teh ……. If you can’t spell , it under cuts my willingness to hear you out.

    maybe he’s a moran,

  30. catman306 says:

    I had to look up Koch Industries logo, unfamiliar since they don’t advertise much. They’re from Wichita, KS which brought this great old ambient jazz artistry to mind. Enjoy. You can see the KI logo at wikepedia.

    If there is karma in the Universe, I’d fear to live in Wichita, KS. It’s liable to fall into the ocean. Or a 20 year drought..

    Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays
    As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls Part 1
    Part 2:

  31. Michael Tucker says:

    Oil Shale will be mined in Texas!

    In keeping with their pledge to “access domestic energy sources” El Paso Corporation has acquired more than 120,000 acres of land to begin mining the filthiest of all so called ‘unconventional oil’ deposits.

  32. Michael Tucker says:

    Now it looks like you have to subscribe to see the entire 7 sentences of the news release. That was not in effect when I first found it. Luckily I still had the page so here is the whole tiny article:


    El Paso Corp. (EP) said it acquired leases to 123,100 acres of land in Texas for $180 million, giving it access to shale oil reserves.

    The leases target the Wolfcamp shale formation. Shale oil extraction involves mining and processing oil shale, a sedimentary rock, into a product that can be refined into petroleum-like synthetic crude oil.

    El Paso said the cost of the acquired acreage will be funded over time through “portfolio rationalization.”

    The acquisition comes as the company’s performance has improved in recent quarters. Oil and gas companies have benefited of late from higher commodities prices and demand boosted by hotter-than-normal temperatures in some regions.

    Shares of El Paso closed Wednesday at $12.15 and were inactive premarket. The stock has gained 24% this year.

    -By Matt Jarzemsky, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2240;

  33. Deborah Stark says:


  34. BillD says:

    I didn’t read even one specific proposal in the Pledge. I thought that this was about putting specifics to paper, not just spouting platitudes.

  35. turkchat says:

    is liked thanks admins usefulls

  36. Chris Winter says:

    I just found a block with a post calculating the worth of global warming denial as $1,120 million per day.

    (h/t: Greenfyre’s)

    I haven’t checked the math; I’m a bit rushed right now. But here’s the link:

  37. Chris Winter says:

    How America can secure clean energy jobs

    A proposal by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

  38. Leif says:

    Chris Winter@ 36: …”worth of global warming denial as $1,120 million per day.” Interesting.

    For the sake of argument with the denier-sphere, let’s assume that there are 5,000 scientists in the USA that are all making $100,000 per year and ALL all willing to lie to protect their jobs researching Global Warming. Both numbers are absurdly high I would add. However that would work out to a total of ~ 500 million dollars per year for the batch. ~1.37 million per day opposed to the $1,120 million a day for the fossil industry to pull the wool over the publics eyes. Almost 1000 times a day more than scientists. Who do you trust? Never mind that if one scientists blew the whistle with facts he would be rich beyond imagination. Where as if one fossil fuel flunky did the same they would all lose money. Their wealth depends on perpetuating the myth.

    So I ask again, WHO DO YOU TRUST?

  39. Ken Johnson says:

    We will fight to increase access to domestic energy sources …
    That’s pretty broad. Could include wind, solar — maybe even nuclear. They may mean just “oil”, but their framing of the issue leaves room for negotiation.

    … and oppose attempts to impose a national ‘cap and trade’ energy tax.
    That’s pretty narrow. Comes short of simply opposing “attempts to reduce global warming pollution”. Is it the means or the end that they oppose?

  40. Whatshisname says:

    “Palin for President — Let’s Just Get It Over With”

  41. TAFL says:

    I would not worry too much about oil shale recovery. Refining oil shale requires huge quantities of water, and it will be clear to all in the desert that it is not a good use of scarce water resources. No access to water means no oil shale refining.

  42. Sime says:

    So the “Genocide Only Party” has made a pledge to the American people…

    No, no, that is incorrect, I apologize…

    The “Genocide Only Party” has made a pledge to it’s self and it’s corporate pals and screw the American people.

    And their pledge is…

    “We of the GOP will let China become the most dominant country in the world. To achieve this we will fail to adapt to new technologies, we will repeal all policies that encourage new cleaner technologies and their associated benefits such as jobs, clean air and water (who needs them anyway), and as a piece de resistance a majority of our politicians promise to be intransigent, short sited, self serving and scientifically illiterate…”

    Gosh Look it’s happening already

    One can only hope the American people are as clever as we hope that are, and see this GOP nonsense for what it is, if not…

    zao shang hao, ba ba America!

  43. Robert S. says:

    “Oil and gas companies have benefited of late from higher commodities prices and demand boosted by hotter-than-normal temperatures in some regions.”
    That says, if not all, a lot. We are literally in a death struggle with these people.

  44. Bill W says:

    Krugman calls out the “Pledge” for it’s poor math. The party that cries “we must reduce the deficit” comes out with a plan that will… wait for it… increase the deficit!

  45. People should not criticize Mark’s bad spelling.

    It’s Dick Armey / David Koch funded astroturfing, the misspellings are intentional.

  46. Michael W says:

    Joe, almost all of us use oil products in many ways, and have direct expenses that would be hurt by oil restrictions. Its not ridiculous to think that making oil easier to procure, more plentiful and less expensive would actually help the average joe, and the economy. Therefore any legislation with the potential to help the country is going to include an “Oath to Big Oil”.

  47. mike roddy says:

    Michael W:

    It’s not ridiculous to think that helping oil companies will help the average Joe. Just wrong, on all kinds of levels, especially if global heating is a concern of yours. I suggest you read books on the subject, or the Climate Progress archives.

  48. Chris Winter says:

    Leif wrote: “Who do you trust? Never mind that if one scientists blew the whistle with facts he would be rich beyond imagination. Whereas if one fossil-fuel flunky did the same they would all lose money. Their wealth depends on perpetuating the myth.”

    Exactly. As I’ve written before, when money corrupts politics, it generally does so to the benefit of the status quo. In this case, that’s the fossil-fuel industries.

    By the way, my #36 should read “I just found a blog…” Told you I was rushed.

  49. Michael W says:

    Mike Roddy #47

    So you would revise my statement to be:
    Restricting oil helps those who rely on oil.

    This makes no sense.

    Logically your next statement is going to be the immediate benefits of oil don’t factor in the delayed costs (ie costs to the environment). I agree, but that suggests we must take a hit now for payoffs in the future. How well do you think that message would sound coming from Washington right now?

  50. climate undergrad says:

    “Therefore any legislation with the potential to help the country is going to include an “Oath to Big Oil”.”

    This makes no sense.

    Is preserving a livable climate helping the country’s future? How about remaining competitive in the international marketplace? How about even beginning to consider the term sustainable (without putting the green/liberal slander to the word)? How about the IMMEDIATE health and productivity benefits Joe reposts here?

    I’m assuming you are taking the “I understand the Science but it is economically infeasible” angle. This is just the new BS of the day.

    You don’t understand the science. You don’t understand risk management. You threaten the well-being of our children and their children.

  51. Michael W says:

    “How about the IMMEDIATE health and productivity benefits Joe reposts here?”

    Climate undergrad #50,
    Joe has a narrative he sticks with. Understand that there are many more narratives out there. How do you personally choose which narrative to go with?

  52. Chris Winter says:

    Allowing High-Income Tax Cuts to Expire on Schedule Would Be Sound Economic and Fiscal Policy
    By Chuck Marr
    Updated February 1, 2010

  53. Chris Winter says:

    Michael Tomasky at the Guardian:

    They gave each other a pledge, impossible, unthinkable

  54. James Newberry says:

    The Global Oil Party pledge sounds OK in a way to me. They are interested in domestic energy as am I. Of course, uranium and mined hydrocarbons in the three phases of matter are not “energy.” They are materials. Thus they have just advocated a “clean energy” economy, if one reads their platform appropriately.