Analysis: Carbon cash to energy committee shapes climate debate.

At a White House meeting last week, President Obama and Vice President Biden urged the Democrats on the House energy committee to take “quick action” on comprehensive green economy legislation. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), a co-sponsor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), has explained that the legislation can’t move forward without the cooperation of fellow Democrats, many of whom are representing “the coal sector, with the steel, with the auto sector, with the refining sector.” A Wonk Room analysis has found that the average energy committee member opposed to, or wavering on, the green economy legislation has received six times as much lifetime climate polluter cash as the average supporter:

Carbon-sector contributions to members of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. Click for more.“The obstructionist politicians working to weaken the ACES Act,” the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson writes, “are ironically threatening the future of the industries who fill their campaign coffers. The nation needs to set strong standards for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and global warming pollution in order to compete in the 21st century economy.”


In a passionate speech in a Senate hearing today, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) noted how pollution lobbyists are vastly outspending environmental groups and clean energy companies. “[T]he Senate is the last place in America that still doesn’t get” climate change, he said:


WHITEHOUSE: So if we wonder why the Senate is the last place in America that still doesn’t get it — that climate change is a real problem for people and that carbon pollution is something that people should pay for when they emit it, big utilities, big industry — gee, connect the dots.