Sacramento CA - A report released today by the ACCE Institute and Common Cause highlights the growing influence of the Oil and Gas Lobby in Sacramento.
The report examines historical campaign contributions by the largest firms in the oil and gas industry. Over the last fifteen years, Big Oil has spent $143 million on political candidates and campaigns -- nearly $10 million per year. Additionally, during that same time period, Big Oil spent over $120 million to lobby elected officials, an increase of over 400 percent since the 1999-2000 legislative session (when the industry spent $4.8 million). The analysis examines the broad and expanding scope of the oil and gas industry's spending in Sacramento.
"This report highlights a growing problem in Sacramento -- the millions of dollars of campaign contributions and lobby spending by special interests in Sacramento, and the possible influence that goes along with it," said Sarah Swanbeck, coauthor of the report and policy advocate for California Common Cause. "It is time for lawmakers to consider how these types of legal spending by special interests drown out the voice of average Californians and what legislative action can be taken to correct this imbalance."
"On the heels of 3 California Senators facing separate accusations of influence peddling and unethical behavior, it has never been more important to shine a light on the money that industries like Big Oil spend to advance their agenda. We've had enough of this 'pay to play' system in which money talks - it's time for our elected officials to listen to the people of this state, and make Big Oil pay their fair share," said Vivian Richardson, community leader and Board Chair of ACCE.
The report concludes with a recommendation for state lawmakers to curb the role of money in politics in order to ensure elected officials are held accountable to all of their constituents, not just the small subset represented by the Oil and Gas Lobby.
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.