Americans For Prosperity (AFP), the conservative advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers, is taking credit for the culture of climate denial that’s taken over the GOP.
In a National Journal article, AFP’s president, Tim Phillips, openly takes credit for bullying – literally threatening – GOP lawmakers with "political peril" should they chose to "play footsie" on climate change and clean energy:
"If you look where the situation was three years ago and where it is today, there’s been a dramatic turnaround. … We’ve made great headway. What it means for the candidates on the Republican side, is if you … buy into green energy or you play footsie on this issue, you do so at your political peril. … And that’s our influence. Groups like Americans for Prosperity have done it."
Three years ago, many prominent Republicans voiced strong support for addressing climate change through Cap-and-Trade legislation (which was a GOP idea in the first place), including Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, John Boehner, and many others. Now, they’ve all reversed their views and don’t even acknowledge the reality of climate change.
We can also see why the GOP is pushing so hard for the tar sands pipeline to be approved, even attaching it to the payroll tax cut bill currently struggling to be passed.
One of the Koch businesses handles about 25% of tar sands imports into the US – they’re one of the biggest refiners of Alberta oil sands crude oil.
Americans for Prosperity are a driving force behind the Tea Party, providing $45 million in funding and logistical support, which led to the Republican takeover of Congress in 2010. Its hard-hitting radio and TV ads were extremely critical of Democrat congressmen, especially those who endorsed national climate change legislation.
They and other big oil companies are also behind the drive to gut environmental regulations and bust US unions, spending countless millions of dollars to defeat clean energy and global warming legislation, according to the study, "Dirty Money."
Walmart, which has been positioning itself as a "green" company, with a raft of sustainability initiatives ranging from sustainable agriculture to waste reduction, also expressed support for cap-and-trade legislation in 2006.
At the same time however, its political action committee (PAC) contributed lots of cash to lawmakers who helped block the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The company is one of the biggest political funders, favoring candidates on the state and federal levels who routinely vote against the environment and who are the most active climate change deniers.
Check out Grist’s series on Walmart’s greenwashing.
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