by Richard T. Stuebi
I get a kick when climate skeptics decry the work of climate scientists by claiming that the scientists are only in it for the money. Get real.
The real money is in opposing climate legislation. Check out this recent posting by Daniel Weiss, Rebecca Lefton and Susan Lyon entitled “Dirty Money” by the Center for American Progress. According to their research, over $500 million was spent within the last two years by large energy corporations (mainly oil companies and electric utilities) on lobbying, much of which to oppose climate legislation. This is more than ten times the amount reportedly spent on lobbying by alternative energy companies. On top of the $500 million spent by companies directly, trade associations generally opposed to clean energy policies are said to have spent almost an additional $300 million on lobbying.
In today’s pay-to-play world, why is it surprising to anyone that U.S. energy policy is so favorable towards maintaining the status quo of fossil fuel dominance over alternative energy and energy efficiency interests?
Richard T. Stuebi is a founding principal of NorTech Energy Enterprise, the advanced energy initiative at NorTech, where he is on loan from The Cleveland Foundation as its Fellow of Energy and Environmental Advancement. He is also a Managing Director in charge of cleantech investment activities at Early Stage Partners, a Cleveland-based venture capital firm.