Birth of the Climate Lobby?

Researcher Bob Brulle has started a discussion.

Based at Philadelphia's Drexel University, Bob Brulle has focused on the billions in ads raked in by national news organizations.


His new work exposes a possible pipeline—pun intended—of as much as $5 billion dollars. Not that $5 billion would turn a few heads..... When each of America's major news broadcasters can take a billion or so apiece from the likes of the American Petroleum Institute or Exxon/Mobil, expect their "fair and balanced" meter to err on the side of Fortune. Or Forbes.

Brulle's new paper, published this month in the journal Climatic Change, could presage the emergence of a climate lobby that will have to be taken seriously, and by everyone. Brulle has been prescient on such things before.

Here's Brulle's Abstract:
Lobbying is considered to be an important factor in the success or failure of climate change legislation. This paper provides an estimate of lobbying expenditures related to climate change legislation in the U.S. Congress from 2000 to 2016. During this time period, over $2 billion was spent on this activity, constituting 3.9% of total lobbying expenditures. Major sectors involved in lobbying were fossil fuel and transportation corporations, utilities, and affiliated trade associations. Expenditures by these sectors dwarf those of environmental organizations and renewable energy corporations. Levels of expenditures on lobbying appear to be related to the introduction and probability of passage of significant climate legislation. Future research should focus on tying particular positions on climate legislation and lobbying expenditures at the corporate level.

Here is a link to the full paper.

Top Weekend News

EHN's Kristina Marusic on a study from UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins scientists, suggesting that frack site neighbors suffer from depression and mood swings at a higher rate than others.

The NYT focuses on how miscommunication can make New York bureaucrats angry at each other. Bureaucrats finger-point, kids' lead poisoning worsens.

Keenly aware that its readers may have maxxed out on Scott Pruitt's tawdry scandals, E&E and reporter Corbin Hiar may have found the first for Pruitt's interim replacement, Andrew Wheeler.

Must-read from Jim Bruggers in his new perch at Inside Climate News: We already know that Mountaintop Removal Mining has cost ten of thousands of coal jobs; A new study says it destroys far more land to get less coal, too.

And two from South Carolina: Sammy Fretwell of The State reports on a radiation spill at a Westinghouse plant that manufactures nuclear fuel rods; and the state continues its never-ending battle with DOE over removing a metric ton of weapons grade plutonium from the Savannah River Site.

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