Oil, Coal Industries Already Have Spent $427 Million On Politics, Policy, and Marketing in 2008

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Washington, D.C. – Today Public Campaign Action Fund, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving America’s campaign finance laws, released a new analysis finding that the oil and coal industries spent $427.2 million so far this year of the year to shift public opinion and to capture the eyes, ears, and support of Congress on critical energy issues.


The analysis looked at four different areas: political contributions, lobbying expenditures, paid advertising and political spending by outside organizations.


“With debate raging over how to solve America’s energy problems while also addressing environmental threats like climate change, the oil and coal industries have opened their wallets wide to preserve the status quo – and their record profits,” said Nick Nyhart, Executive Director for Public Campaign Action Fund. “With only roughly half the year behind us, these corporate giants could wind up spending $900 million to $1 billion in 2008 to win over the public and key decision-makers.”


Among the findings in the analysis:

  • Major oil and electric utility companies and and front groups for the oil and gas industries spent a whopping $201.2 million on advertising in the first six months of 2008.

  • Big Oil and King Coal have spent $129 million on lobbying to influence Washington decision-makers.

  • The industries have made $37.4 million in political contributions at the federal level.

The report can be found at the organization’s Web site at http://www.campaignmoney.org/oil-and-coal-report.


“With spending like this, it’s clear that these polluting industries see much at stake in Congress,” continued Nyhart.


Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization that works to advance comprehensive campaign finance reform and hold elected officials accountable. The group conducts research, outreach, advocacy, and public education in service to a deeper understanding of the role of money in politics, and mobilizes public opinion and decision-makers to support comprehensive change in the financing of our elections.