In the House of Representatives’ final act before its two-month vacation, House Republicans approved 233–175 a pro-coal package on Friday that dismantles or delays an array of public health protections. H.R. 4309 may be named for the fictitious “war on coal,” but it rolls back protections in the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, blocking EPA carbon pollution standards and fuel efficiency standards.
In a year where fossil fuel groups have pledged to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, the House GOP’s last act before November is a symbolic gesture for coal, that risks Americans’ health and even the coal industry itself.
Over their careers, the 233 members who voted for the Big Coal package have received more than $20 million over their careers from coal — according to an analysis of OpenSecrets.org data and additional analysis by Oil Change International. The 175 members who voted against undermining public health have just $8 million in career coal contributions. In just the 2012 cycle, the Big Coal votes have taken $4.5 million more than those voting against the bill.
Like today’s vote, campaign contributions from the coal and coal-dependent utilities industries break clearly across partisan lines: House Republicans have raised almost $20 million from coal and utilities industries, double the $10.2 million by Democrats. Coal mining companies alone have contributed $4.4 million to House Republicans over their careers, nearly five times the amount to Democratic members.
* Based on data from OpenSecrets.org with additional analysis by Oil Change International. Oil Change International has purchased, analyzed, and refined this data from the Center for Responsive Politics.