The Center for Public Integrity has found that “more than 770 companies and interest groups hired an estimated 2,340 lobbyists to influence federal policy on climate change in the past year,” estimating total expenditures of $90 million. Their comprehensive investigation of climate lobbying discovered that nearly 2,000 of the lobbyists represent corporate interests.
CPI found that the top climate lobbying shop was the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), a coal-industry front group that spent $10.5 million lobbying Congress:
No group exemplifies the sophistication of the current debate more than the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity — a new lobbying organization unveiled just weeks before the vote last June on the Warner-Lieberman bill. Representing 48 mining firms, coal-hauling railroads and coal-burning power companies, ACCCE spent $10.5 million lobbying Capitol Hill on climate in 2008 — more than any other organization solely dedicated to the issue. In addition to the group’s president, Steven Miller, a one-time aide to former Democratic Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones, and vice president Joe Lucas, who was an aide to former Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary, ACCCE has at least 15 outside lobbyists, including former White House Counsel Quinn. The big effort is not surprising, since electricity is the largest single source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and the most carbon-intensive fuel, coal, provides half the nation’s power. But ACCCE’s position is that it supports a mandatory federal program to curb the emissions its own members produce — as long as the policy meets ACCCE’s set of principles for keeping electricity affordable, domestically produced, and reliable. And that means encouraging, in ACCCE’s words, “robust utilization of coal.”