Stream of New Lobbying Money Helped Climate Bill Flow Through HouseM-O-N-E-Y.
Christa Marshall, writing in the New York Times
Major global-warming legislation that squeaked past the finish line in the House last month attracted millions of dollars in new lobbying money.
The fresh cash came from a combination of new groups and existing companies ramping up their payments to hired advocates in the second quarter of 2009. Entities hiring climate lobbyists for the first time shelled out more than $1.5 million overall from April to June and included a new natural-gas coalition and an arm of former Vice President Al Gore's nonprofit empire.
Corporations with a long-term presence in the nation's capital also opened their coffers specifically to push lawmakers on the cap-and-trade bill sponsored by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), which passed the House 219-212 last month. For example, Energy Future Holdings, a Texas-based firm, hired the Madison Group to push lawmakers on the bill and paid the firm's lobbyists $80,000.
At the same time, sectors with a stake in the measure, such as oil and gas and coal, upped their spending this spring by millions of dollars from the same period last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. [link]
Let's bring it down to a level we can all understand:
· Boucher's climate tax bill (HR 2454), among other things, provides for protection for local electric distribution companies (LDC's) in the way of "allowances" starting in 2016. Sizable allowances.
· Thomas F. Farrell II, President and CEO of Dominion Resources (Dominion Power), has come out in favor of Boucher's bill.
· Dominion Resources - Surprise! - is an LDC.
· Dominion Power will be a major beneficiary of Boucher's largesse.
· By all accounts, Boucher's bill is going to raise utility rates substantially.
· Dominion Power doesn't pay for rate increases. You do.
· Since electric rate increases resulting from Boucher's bill come out of your wallet, Boucher's largesse comes out of your wallet. What a guy!
· Guess what organization happens to be Boucher's leading 2010 campaign contributor so far this year?
· It all becomes clear.