Silencing Science: How Citizens United and Fossil Fuel Campaign Cash Has Silenced Public Debate on Climate Change

Research and Reports

Fossil fuel corporations and their front groups have spent millions of dollars to silence public debate on climate change.

Massive political spending by a network of special interest groups has not only blocked federal legislation on climate change, it also kept many members of Congress from even speaking up.

Defenders of unlimited campaign cash often appeal to freedom of speech — but when it comes to climate change, big money has shut down the dialogue altogether.

The result of Citizens United has been a massive infusion of money being spent on political advertisements trying to “debunk” the science of climate change and attack politicians who support reversing the tides of climate change through legislative action.

The Center for American Progress estimates that more than $270 million was spent on political advertising by outside groups backed by oil, coal, gas industry during the 2012 election.

This has not only halted legislation in the U.S. Congress, it has stopped politicians from even debating the issue, fearing political retribution from big oil special interests who now have more power than ever before.