At a press conference today, the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) and the national League of Conservation Voters (LCV) announced a new campaign, The Price We All Pay, to curb the influence of polluter money in elections. As part of the campaign, the groups are urging California members of Congress to co-sponsor the Government by the People Act, and are raising awareness of the impacts of polluter money in politics at a time of record climate change impacts nationwide.
Click here to download audio from the press conference.
“We all pay the price as polluters pour money into races to elect candidates who deny climate change and stand in the way of updating our nation’s outdated toxic chemical laws. California voters should speak out and urge their member of Congress to support this legislation to finally curb the influence of dirty energy companies,” said Sarah Rose, CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters.
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United ruling opened the door for polluters to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections,” said Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters. “It’s time to fight the tidal wave of corrupt polluter cash that’s flooding into elections nationwide.”
“For too long, big oil and coal have funded climate denial and spent countless millions to block action on climate change,” said Congressman Henry A. Waxman (D-CA). “The time to act on climate is now.”
The campaign is utilizing grassroots organizing and print, radio, outdoor and online ad campaigns to raise awareness about the impacts of polluter money and help curb its influence. Working in collaboration with California Common Cause, the campaign is also urging passage of the Government By the People Act (H.R. 20), which would combat the influence of big money in politics, raise civic engagement, and amplify the voice of average Americans. The bill is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of more than 150 members of Congress.
In 2010, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Citizens United vs. FEC, declaring that corporations are permitted to make unlimited independent expenditures and electioneering communications under federal election law. This ruling has led to unprecedented spending by Big Oil and corporate polluters in elections nationwide. Groups tied to the dirty energy industry spent more than $270 million on TV ads in just the final two months of the 2012 election cycle, and the oil billionaire Koch brothers alone plan to spend $290 million on the 2014 election.
Americans are paying the price as polluter-backed allies in Congress refuse to act on climate change or update our nation’s outdated toxic chemical laws. Between 2011 and 2012 alone, 25 of the most extreme weather events nationwide – including droughts, wildfires, and super-storms - resulted in up to $188 billion in damages. Exposure to unregulated, untested chemicals in everyday products like cleaning supplies, paints and flooring are triggering asthma attacks and endangering the health of California families every day.
Californians interested in joining the campaign can sign the petition to Congress at www.priceweallpay.org