November 19, 2011

Natural gas industry invests in big time lobbying

If only the $747 million that the natural gas industry is spending to lobby members of Congres was installing more wind and solar power, rather than convincing our great leaders over a ten-year campaign to support fracking and  ignore the possible dangers of this rapidly expanding but poorly regulated method of tapping gas reserves.

A Common Cause report says this figure includes $1.4 million to members of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works and $3.7 million to members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. That Senate committee does, after all, include the word Environment. You'd think that meant protect the environment, not risk it.

Unfortunately, money does talk. It always has, and it always will. It showed its effect in other Congressional thinking last week too that might affect the school lunch. The final version of a spending bill released last Monday shows the results of lobbying from the food industry. It would allow pizza to be counted as a vegetable (good ole tomato sauce!), not limit the use of potatoes in school lunches, delay limits on sodium and delay a requirement to boost whole grains.