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Cap-and-Trade and Campaign Finance

June 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Center for Responsive Politics, the people behind the money-in-politics site OpenSecrets, have done an analysis of the House’s vote last Friday passing the Waxman-Markley climate change bill. Based on campaign contribution data going back 20 years, here’s what they found:

Across the board, the industries that have opposed climate change legislation have given more money to the members of the House of Representatives who voted against the sweeping bill than to those who helped pass it. The energy sector overall, for example, gave twice the amount of contributions, on average, to those who voted against the legislation than to those who supported it ($274,000 compared to $124,200).

Their report points out that environmental groups, over the same period, gave only $21,198 to members of Congress that voted in favor of the bill, and only $3,088 to those that voted against it. So, both the energy companies and the environmentalists gave much more to the members that ended up voting their way. But, even though the environmental groups gave less than 20 percent of what the energy companies gave, their position ended up winning out.

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