Dear Partners in Green,

We try to be good stewards of the Earth, to conserve, reduce, reuse, recycle, and live responsibly, but it is an uphill battle. As much as we do for the betterment of our world, there is a force that is working against us. And that force is the lobbying done by big oil companies.

By definition, lobbying is any attempt by individuals or private interest groups to influence the decision of government. Lobbying in some form is inevitable in any political system and in the United States most legal scholars and judges consider lobbying to be protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which guarantees the right “to petition the government for redress of grievance.”

The adequacy of these laws is in doubt, however. Especially difficult to regulate is any kind of indirect lobbying such as group activity designed to influence government by shaping public opinion.[1]

Many assume that lobbyists work for nefarious corporate and special interest clients, but there are many nonprofits, public interest groups, and hospitals that hire lobbyists to lobby for them.[2]

But, the oil and gas industry spent about 124.4 million lobbying the federal government in 2022.

Koch Industries alone spent $11.3 million, more than any other oil and gas company. Half a dozen other fossil fuel corporations including Occidental Petroleum, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil, and Chevron Corp spent another $44.3 million on lobbying.

With the war in Ukraine, the industries top lobbying spenders recorded combined profits of $1 trillion in sales in 2022!

The combined lobbying, political contribution, and advertising efforts of trade groups opposed to Climate Change legislation outspent climate advocacy groups by 27 to 1 between 2008 and 2018. These groups have historically contributed to GOP candidates and political committees with the trend continuing during the 2022 cycle.[3]

(Not wanting to appear political, but these are the statistics I found.)

We are indeed in an uphill battle. But I would like to find a word other than battle, since most of the “wars” we have waged on drugs, poverty, and crime, have been less than successful.

Maybe instead we could say “embracing a clean and sustainable future for the earth and all of its inhabitants by releasing ourselves from the bondage to oil, by voting, talking, writing, marching, as we reduce our consumption of meat, drive less, travel less, shop less, and recycle more. And keeping hope alive and well.

Thank you for being on this journey.

Wishing peace and health to you and your loved ones.

Till next time,

[3] (following money in politics)