It’s no surprise that the American Petroleum Institute, the Big Oil industry’s chief lobbying organization, says that it will start donating directly to political candidates. Martin Durbin, the Institute’s executive vice president for government affairs, told Bloomberg News: “This is adding one more tool to our toolkit. At the end of the day, our mission is trying to influence the policy debate.” Since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Big Oil to spend whatever it pleases, and with no restrictions, this announcement is bad news for ordinary folks in this country. Can you imagine turning companies such as BP and Exxon loose with absolutely no restrictions on how much those already powerful companies can spend directly on political campaigns?
Specifically, Big Oil seeks to influence the debate on such issues as offshore drilling, fossil fuel subsidies, alternative fuel sources, and government regulation. You are likely to hear candidates in upcoming elections advocating for:
Then you might even learn that API is bankrolling the campaigns of those very candidates. The powerful oil companies will have their way more than ever to the detriment of ordinary citizens because of what the highest court in the land has done. I have been somewhat surprised that the public hasn’t been up in arms over what is happenings relating to the financing of political campaigns on the national and state levels. It’s not because it doesn’t affect them adversely, nor because they don’t care; instead, it’s largely because the public is uninformed.
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