Interestingly, the three House members (Marsha Blackburn, Ted Poe and Shelley Moore Capito) who were quickest to introduce bills to prevent the EPA from updating the Clean Air Act share more in common than just the fact that they want to – as the New York Times put it – “throttle the Environmental Protection Agency.”
They are also backed by some of the biggest names in pollution, with three big companies in particular – ExxonMobil, Koch Industries and Valero combined gave these would-be EPA throttlers over $160,000 in recent campaign cycles.
ExxonMobil’s PAC has contributed $50,000 to their election campaigns.
Even more money came from the Koch Industries PAC - $56,000 to the three throttlers. Koch Industries is a big contributor to the polluter front group Americans for Prosperity, which in turn has been working closely with the Tea-Party movement to enact a radical agenda that includes suggesting we don’t even need the EPA (see my blog from earlier today.)
Then you have Valero, the Texas-based oil company that tried to buy a California ballot measure to kill off clean energy development. Valero’s PAC has given the three members $61,000 in recent elections.
Now, many will be quick to argue that members get all kinds of money from all kinds of sources, and you can’t draw conclusions that these three are trying to stop the EPA from doing its job just because they got money from dirty polluters. That’s a fair point.
But the contributions from dirty polluters helped these three get into office, and we can judge them based on what they are doing as officeholders. And that’s carrying water for a polluter-driven agenda to abolish the EPA’s ability to put limits on carbon pollution and to give polluters a free pass to dump in our air.