Climate Change Lobbyists Outnumbered

Marc Gunther published another very interesting article at the Guardian titled “In Washington, a handful of corporations lobby against climate change”.

The article documents that most lobbyists in the United States are opposing meaningful policies to accelerate the switch away from fossil fuels.

Lobbyists are not without influence on American politics. Much of that influence comes from two facts. Lobbyists have money. Politicians need money (campaign contributions) to buy the right to work for the public. Normal jobs get paid. In contrast, politicians need to pay much more than their salary to get elected. That in turn means that politicians can’t get elected without a little help from their friends, the lobbyists.

Therefore, what Marc Gunther describes is an undesirable state of affairs. It would be much better if all the corporations were on the side of Bill McKibben, as opposed to only “a handful”.

That would change if fossil fuel industry understood that keeping fossil fuel in the ground is good for their bottom line (Phaseout Profit Theory). Once they understand that, their lobbyists would change sides, as would many of the politicians that get campaign contributions from these lobbyists.

I have yet to hear a valid reason why I am wrong about Phaseout Profit. If I am right, that would be one of the immediate changes once the fossil industry understands this point.


Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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