The United States Chamber of Commerce is running an unprecedented $75 million campaign to unseat progressives from Congress, in defense of a big-oil agenda. As a ThinkProgress investigation has learned Chamber’s donors — who send their checks to the same account from which the political campaign is run — include multinational oil corporations, and even oil companies owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain. The oil-fueled Chamber has hammered candidates who voted to limit our dependence on oil, falsely claiming they supported a “job-killing energy tax” (like Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH), Rep Joe Sestak (D-PA), Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO), Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), and Rep. Harry Teague (D-NM)).
The Chamber has repeatedly questioned the science behind climate change, even calling for a “Scopes monkey trial” in 2009. Numerous companies, including Apple, Exelon, PNM Resources, PG&E, and PSEG, quit the Chamber because of their reactionary opposition to climate legislation, determined by right-wing board members like coal giants Massey, Peabody, and Consol. Multinational oil companies BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Hess, and Shell Oil fund the Chamber of Commerce through its Business Civic Leadership Council. The Chamber’s anti-clean-energy agenda serves not only domestic coal barons and oil majors, but also the following foreign oil and coal companies, who are some of the dozens of foreign corporations that pay member dues to the Chamber of Commerce’s 501c(6) account, which is used to fund its political ads:
– Avantha Group, India (at least $7,500 in annual member dues): power plants
— The Bahrain Petroleum Company, Kingdom of Bahrain ($5,000): state-owned oil campany
— Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company, Kingdom of Bahrain ($5,000): state-owned oil company
— Essar Group, Mumbai, India ($7,500): oil & gas, coal power
— GMR, Bangalore, India ($15,000): coal power, mining
— Hinduja Group, London, UK ($15,000): the Gulf Oil group
— Jindal Power, New Delhi, India ($15,000): coal power
— Lahmeyer International, Frankfurt, Germany ($7,500): power plant engineering
— Punj Lloyd, Gurgaon, India ($15,000): offshore pipelines
— Reliance Industries, Mumbai, India ($15,000): oil and gas, petrochemicals
— SNC Lavalin, Montreal, Canada ($7,500): mining, power plant, and oil & gas engineering
— Tata Group, Mumbai, India ($15,000): power plants, oil & gas
— Walchandnagar Industries, Mumbai, India ($7,500): power plant, oil & gas engineering
— Welspun, Mumbai, India ($7,500): oil & gas exploration
“To secure America’s long-term energy security, America must reexamine outdated and entrenched positions, become better informed about the sources of our fuel and power, and make judgments based on facts, sound science, and good American common sense,” the Chamber argues. America will be insecure as long as the Chamber is spreading lies about science and energy supported by foreign polluter cash.
Cross-posted on The Wonk Room.