During the 2014 election cycle, the fossil fuel industry spent hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the election results, much of it well hidden from voters. According to the Atlas Project, the fossil fuel industry spent more than $163 million on television ads across the country, contributed $64 million more directly to candidates and parties, and likely contributed hundreds of millions more on electioneering activities by outside groups. More than a third of electioneering spending by outside groups was paid for by unknown sources.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has introduced Amendment No. 3125 to require companies with revenue of $1 million or more derived from fossil fuel activities to disclose their spending on electioneering ads, including transfers to outside groups used for electioneering ads, if the total exceeds $10,000 yearly. The amendment is co-sponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
Our organizations strongly support transparency of campaign finance activities and urge you to support the “Disclosure of Political Spending by Fossil Fuel Beneficiaries” amendment to the Energy bill.
The coalition supporting the transparency amendment includes the Center for Biological Diversity, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Common Cause, Democracy 21, Free Speech for People, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Public Citizen, SustainUS, and former Sen. Timothy Wirth (D-CO).
Dark money in our elections breeds corruption and scandal. The fossil fuel industry has been, and will continue to be, a major source of this secretive funding to influence elections. Voters have a right to know who is behind campaign ads.
We urge you to support the Whitehouse Amendment No. 3125 to the Energy bill.
Center for Biological Diversity
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Free Speech for People
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
Timothy E. Wirth, U.S. Senate, Colorado (Ret.)
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Money in Politics