lopsided voices: clean energy vs. fossil fuels in the election campaign

In the new post- Citizen’s United world, whoever has the most money has the biggest voice.

For those not familar with the ruling and don’t feel like reading the wikipedia article linked above, in essence, the Supreme Court decided:

“…that the First Amendment protects associations of individuals [corporations] in addition to individual speakers, and further that the First Amendment does not allow prohibitions of speech based on the identity of the speaker. Corporations, as associations of individuals, therefore have speech rights under the First Amendment.”

People knew what that meant when the ruling came down, and we have seen the predictions come true.  Unlimited spending by large corporations to support presidential candidates that if elected would support their interests.  Individual people and their donations pale in comparison to the coffers of these companies.  While there are corporations spending on both sides for many issues, this NY Times article caught my eye for its relevance to what this blog is interested in: energy issues.

It is crystal clear (if it wasn’t before) by looking at who is funding who, what kind of energy future Romney supports and what kind of future Obama supports.


…That tally is nearly four times the $41 million spent by clean-energy advocates, the Obama campaign and Democratic groups to defend the president’s energy record or raise concerns about global warming and air pollution…

…estimated spending on television ads promoting coal and more oil and gas drilling or criticizing clean energy has exceeded $153 million this year, according to an analysis by The New York Times of 138 ads on energy issues broadcast this year…

…Mr. Romney, the Republican National Committee and Mr. Romney’s political action committee have taken in at least $13 million in campaign contributions from oil, gas and coal industry executives or their related groups.

By comparison, Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee have received less than $950,000 from the fossil fuel industry over the past two years, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. The clean-energy industry has hardly made up the difference, with Mr. Obama directly collecting only about $78,000 from it so far, according to the center’s data…

This isn’t intended to be a post about candidates, or energy per se.  It seems like we have many potential options for energy resources.  My concern really boils down to this: Should we let money decide who has the loudest voice?  Should the technology with the most money drown out other energy pathway choices?

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2 Responses to lopsided voices: clean energy vs. fossil fuels in the election campaign

  1. Sam says:

    Nice post Paul. There was a really nice discussion on Bill Moyers’ show this past weekend about the Citizens United decision and the impact on this election cycle. Worth listening to while your pipetting 🙂 http://billmoyers.com/episode/the-one-percent-court/

  2. Paul says:

    wow, great show. Do you ever listen to Left Right and Center? http://www.kcrw.com/news/programs/lr

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