Tuesday, May 21, 2019

13 Of The Presidential Candidates Have Signed The No Fossil Fuels Pledge-- But Not Trump And Not Status Quo Joe Biden


The New Republic ran this photo collage and headline in March. Back then Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee and even corporate shill Kirsten Gillibrand had all signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge:
I pledge to not take contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industry and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.
That means no money from fossil fuel executives, PACs or lobbyists. But, as Amy Atkin wrote for the New Republic, "Refusing money from the oil, gas and coal industries may seem, at first glance, like a politically risky move. If the eventual Democratic nominee is to beat Donald Trump... they’ll need all the resources they can get. So why give up such a potentially huge source of revenue?
“The fossil fuel industry doesn’t generally have a major role in presidential elections on the Democratic side, and hasn’t for awhile,” said Sarah Bryner, the research director at the Center for Responsive Politics. Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee, only got about $1 million from oil and gas interests over the course of her campaign; Barack Obama received about the same amount in 2008 and 2012, respectively. That’s a fairly minuscule amount, given that Clinton’s campaign raised about a $1 billion and Obama’s 2012 campaign raised even more. Even a Democratic candidate like O’Rourke, who’s historically benefitted from oil and gas industry money, wouldn’t be giving up that much if he gave it up in 2020. As a congressman in 2018, he received $476,000 from the industry, second only to Senator Ted Cruz in all of Congress. But O’Rourke raised $6 million online in the first 24 hours of his campaign alone.

So the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge isn’t very costly for Democrats. (The No Hollywood Celebrity Money Pledge would be another story.) And any money a Democratic candidate gives up by signing is more than offset by the credibility they’d earn on the issue of climate change-- not to mention that it might attract big-money environmental donors. The eventual Democratic nominee surely will be expected to champion the Green New Deal, or a similar plan to transition the country’s fossil fuel economy into a renewable one. Democratic voters ought to be able trust that their nominee isn’t corrupted by the very industries that are making the planet unlivable.

The Democratic field is large, and nearly every candidate has made a grand statement or two about the dire threat of global warming. But right now, voters can truly trust only five of them to decarbonize the economy. Bryner expects that to change, eventually. “This is a signaling game, and it ends up punishing candidates who won’t make the same pledges,” she said. Hopefully it does-- because if the next president doesn’t have the guts to stand up to the fossil fuel industry, then they certainly don’t have what it takes to prevent a world of hurt.
Yesterday, Amy Klobuchar became the 13th Democratic presidential candidate to sign the pledge. She tweeted this:

Since the New Republic piece, Beto has also been embarrassed into signing. Kamala Harris, Michael Bennet and, obviously, Status Quo Joe are wheeling and dealing to get all the money they can from the fossil fuel industry and have absolutely refused to sign the pledge. No surprise there.

These are the Democrats currently serving in Congress who have taken over $200,000 each from oil and gas interests (since 1990):
Gene Green (TX)- $746,963
Henry Cuellar (TX)- $713,127
Beto O'Rourke (TX)- $570,094
Jim Costa (CA)- $520,474
Joe Manchin (WV)- $424,945
Steny Hoyer (MD)- $409,470
Tom Udall (NM)- $390,564
Chuck Schumer (NY)- $316,023
Michael Bennet (CO)- $312,689
Ron Wyden (OR)- $286,012
Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)- $253,500
Dianne Feinstein (CA)- $251,611
Marc Veasey (TX)- $244,400
Bob Casey (PA)- $236,516
Cedric Richmond (LA)- $230,550
Rick Larsen (WA)- $228,051
Mike Doyle (PA)- $207,012
Bob Menendez (NJ)- $203,726
After this happened, Beto agreed to finally sign the Fossil Fuel Pledge:

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At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what if 13 candidates signed this. What really matters is what they do IF ELECTED. Remember when the newly elected Mayor of Baltimore vetoed a minimum wage bill after campaigning that she'd push for passage? This Mayor is hardly the only democrap whose word can't be trusted. Need I say more?

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if 13 signed (and if they were all sincere -- remember obamanation's pledge to use only small donors in 2008), it also means that 11 (?) still have not so pledged.

But the numbers also show that big oil knows that owning congress is more effective, and permanent, than buying a president.

obamanation, supposedly, did not get a lot of love directly from oil. But they enjoyed increases in public land leases to explore as well as an easier (rubber-stamp) process for gaining those leases. One result was the gulf gusher. Not even that caused any change to the gifts obamanation gave big oil.

when it comes to oil, party is irrelevant. both sides are basically the same.


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