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Why Do We Need Divestment?

Follow the Money: The Fossil Fuel Industrys Influence Over Our Government
Once the reality of the climate crisis became clear in the 1990s, the leadership of fossil fuel companies had a choice. They could choose to act responsibly by aiding societys transition to clean energy, or they could choose to act to protect their outsize power and profit by maintaining the dominance of fossil fuels over our energy system. Twenty years later, we now which decision they made. !ossil fuel corporations have invested their tremendous profits into manipulating the public and the media, buying elections and influencing our politicians, and bloc ing clean energy pro"ects. #ivestment, by staining the money and image of fossil fuel corporations, will decrease the political influence of this to$ic and corrupting industry. Only when we have loosened their stranglehold on our government will we be able to ta e the actions necessary to solve the climate crisis.

Follow the Money: The Cre tion of Clim te Deni lism

The fossil fuel industry organized and funded the climate denial machine, a networ of thin tan s, blogs, and %scientific& spo espeople that propagates climate denial among the general public and lawma ers. Their strategy has been frighteningly successful'right now, (() of *ouse +epublicans and ,() of -enate +epublicans deny the e$istence of climate change, despite overwhelming scientific consensus to the contrary. .n aggressive, effective media strategy is at the core of the climate denial machines wor .. This strategy can be traced directly to fossil fuel companies/ in 1990, the .merican 1etroleum 2nstitute convened a meeting with industry representatives and conservative thin tan s 3all of whom had received funding from 4$$on5 to form a %national media relations program& to promote uncertainty about climate science. Victory will be achieved, the report said, when those promoting the Kyoto [treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the basis of extant science appear to be out of touch with reality. Today, mainstream media outlets routinely 6uote and publish op7eds by supposed e$perts who 6uestion the e$istence of climate change'despite overwhelming scientific consensus to the contrary. The climate denial machine e$ecutes its media strategy by/

!" #ecruitin$ nd tr inin$ %scientific& s'o(es'eo'le to )uestion clim te science throu$h re'orts* o'+eds* nd 'u,lic s'e (in$ tours" This elaborate affair is made possible only by financial bac ing from the fossil fuel industry. !or instance/ 8limate denial spo esperson 9illie -oon has ta en over :1 million from fossil fuel companies in the past decade in return for publishing shoddy but high7 profile reports that raised doubts about legitimate climate science. -oon is an astrophysicist, but he has claimed false public health credentials in his publications. 2n ;00,, a lea ed letter showed that the .merican 4nterprise 2nstitute was offering :10,000 to any scientist who would write a review 6uestioning the use of climate models to direct climate policy. 2ndustry funding bac s blogs li e 9atts<p9ithThat.com that claim to debun climate science. -" Or$ ni.in$ events to ttr ct medi cover $e to clim te deni lism" The *eartland 2nstitute'funded by 4$$on, #onors Trust, and wealthy anonymous donors 'hosted several 2nternational 8limate 8onferences between ;000 and ;01;. These events are billed to the media as scientific gatherings, but very few scientists actually attend. The real goal of these conferences it to %generate international media attention& around climate denialism and promote opposition to climate policy. They have also published /" 0 r ssin$ nd sme rin$ clim te scientists" 2n some of their most violent breaches of ethical standards, the climate denial machine has attempted to tar the image of high7profile climate scientists and their research through the media. They also attempt to derail the wor of climatologists li e =im *ansen of >.-. and ?ichael ?ann of <1enn by harassing them with incessent !O2. re6uests, wasting the time and energy of the scientists and their offices. The clim te deni l m chine would not ,e 'ossi,le without si$nific nt investment from the fossil fuel industry" Though the funders behind thin tan s and institutes can be shrouded in secrecy, ta$ filings and lea ed documents point to a coordinated industry bac ing for the climate denial machine. 2n addition to the e$amples mentioned above, we now that/ 4$$on?obil spent over :;@ million supporting climate denialist groups. The shady #onors Trust and #onors 8apital funds put :1A, million behind climate denial groups in ;00;7;01;, and we now that the oil billionaire Boch brothers put millions into the #onors funds. The oil billionaire Boch brothers also fund .mericans for 1rosperity, a Tea 1arty group that made climate denial a central plan of the +epublican 1artys platform.

Follow the Money: 1uyin$ 2lections

4 Te5t,oo( C se in 0 rv rds 1 c(y rd

nd 3olitici ns

.s a ?assachusetts state legislator, -cott Crown was a strong supporting of climate legislation. .s the Coston Dlobe reported/ Brown voted to impose the nation s strongest limits on greenhouse gases and to launch the region s landmar! effort to cap carbon emissions from power plants, earning him a perfect voting record on environmental issues in the "assachusetts #udubon $ociety s %&&' score card. (he following year, after Brown s last full session in the )egislature, the "assachusetts )eague of *nvironmental Voters said he voted its way +% percent of the time. *owever, after ta ing over :AA0,000 from fossil fuel corporations for his successful ;010 -enate bid, -cott Crown began voting in line with the industrys interests. *e voted to slash the 41.s budget by EE) and prevent it from regulating greenhouse gasesF he voted to approve the Beystone GH pipeline and bloc automobile fuel7 efficiency standardsF and he voted to maintain billions of dollars in subsidies to fossil fuel corporations. 4 Much 1ro der 3ro,lem -cott Crown is certainly not the only <- politician influenced by campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies/ 2n ?arch ;01;, a vote in the -enate failed to repeal :;.A billion in subsidies to the top ( oil companies, despite the fact that the subsidies dont affect gas prices and the top ( oil companies dont need any government help 3they earned :1E@ billion profit in the previous year alone5. The reason for the bills failure is clear/ -enators who voted to eep the subsidies had ta en four times as much money in campaign contributions as the -enators who voted to repeal the subsidies. 2n ?arch ;01E, senators who voted to approve the carbon7intensive Beystone GH pipeline in a symbolic vote too E.( times as much money in direct campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry as those senators who voted against the pipeline. The tremendous wealth of fossil fuel corporations gives them even more power over our government through lobbying and the revolving door. 8itizen advocacy group funding is regularly dwarfed by that of the fossil fuel industry/ 2n ;009, 4$$on ?obil alone spent :( million more than all environmental groups combined on lobbying around the cap and trade bill #uring the ;01; election cycle, fossil fuel groups spent four times more money than clean energy groups on political ads On the issue of the carbon7intensive Beystone GH pipeline, pro7tar sands industry groups have spent E( times more money on lobbying than oppponents The 3ro,lem is Gettin$ Worse This year, the -upreme 8ourt will decide on a case, dubbed by activists as %8itizens <nited ;&, that could remove all spending limits on individual campaign contributions. Duess whos behind the caseI The fossil fuel industry'its being filed by coal baron and climate denialist -haun ?c8utcheon. 2f the -upreme 8ourt

decides in ?c8utcheons favor, the fossil fuel industry will be able e$ert even more influence over our government'with disastrous conse6uences for our future, unless we can stop them with divestment.

Follow the Money: 1loc(in$ Cle n 2ner$y 3ro6ects

8ape 9ind, a proposed windfarm off the coast of ?assachusetts, should be providing over one hundred megawatts of clean energy to ?assachusetts. This energy would help shut down the aged and dirty coal plants that burden ?assachusetts communities with carbon pollution and high rates of cancer and birth defects. 2nstead, the pro"ect'which would be .mericas first offshore wind farm' has been held up for twelve years by ceaseless litigation from the town of Carnstable. This litigation was only possible due to funding from fossil fuel barons'Cill Boch, an oil billionaire who owns a vacation home on the 8ape, has covered the towns legal e$penses through a shady front group nown as the .lliance to 1rotect >antuc et -ound. .s #an 9olf, the -tate -enator from Carnstable, noted, ,ithout [Koch s- #lliance s funding, Barnstable s taxpayers would have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to continue fighting .ape ,ind, despite multiple court rulings in its favor.