As most Americans focus on the presidential contest, the Koch Bros, ALEC, US Chamber of Commerce and their peers are hard at work making sure Congress and the states stay in Republican hands, and that if Trump is elected, they will have their say through his cabinet members.
While they outwardly don’t support Trump, they are thrilled with his Vice Presidential choice, Mike Pence – an ideal right-wing candidate. He’s long been a Koch favorite and beneficiary of their cash, introducing the bills they want in Congress and as Indiana Governor.
Like Trump, he would “end the war on coal” and make fossil fuels “great again.”
Pence is a climate denier, of course. He doesn’t believe in evolution, and supports teaching creationism in public schools. In Congress, he voted dozens of times against bills that would protect endangered species, clean air, and drinking water, reports Slate. He supports cutting taxes for the wealthiest, cutting and privatizing social security, while being against raising the minimum wage, paid sick days and family leave.
Standard Fare for Trump Picks
Whether they head his campaign (ultra-right-winger who runs conspiracy site Breitbart “News” Network) or are on his list of potential Supreme Court nominees – Trump picks the MOST right-wing, marginal people he can come up with.
Much of what gets done during a presidency happens behind the scenes in all the federal agencies that create and implement regulations … or repeal them.
Trump has been clear that he despises the EPA and environmental regulations which “hold businesses back.”
So he chose Myron Ebell to lead his EPA transition team, one of the most prominent climate change deniers in the US. He heads the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, which is part of the Koch Brothers’ State Policy Network, influencing legislation on the state level.
Along with ALEC, this group is responsible for the wave of anti-solar initiatives we’ve seen across the US in the last couple of years.
Ebell chairs the “Cooler Heads Coalition,” which consists of about 24 nonprofits “that question global warming alarmism and oppose energy rationing policies.”
And who’s leading Trump’s Energy transition team? Fracking lobbyist and climate denier Mike Catanzaro, whose clients include Koch Industries and the rest of the oil and gas clan. His goal is to open all public lands and offshore waters to drilling, while eliminating any pesky emissions regulations.
He also lobbies against Obama’s Clean Power Plan which Trump promises to repeal on his first day in office along with tearing up the Paris Climate Agreement. I will “rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan” Trump says. He would also approve the Keystone pipeline.
For Secretary of Energy, Trump’s likely pick is Harold Hamm, founder and CEO of Continental Resources, one of the biggest fracking companies.
More than $140 million has been spent so far to fight referendums in the states, 10 times their grass roots opponents, reports Public Citizens’ Big Business Ballot Bullies.
The referendums cover a variety of issues, including:
- in Colorado, special interests prevented a measure from getting on the ballot that would require setbacks from homes and schools for oil and gas drilling.
- in Florida, Amendment 1 is called the “solar decoy initiative” because although it looks favorable to solar, it actually makes it easier for utilities to restrict and raise costs for rooftop solar.
Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light have contributed $11 million to the fake Consumers for Smart Solar. Learn more.
- in South Dakota, the Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act (Measure 22) would require public disclosure of donors to campaigns and advocacy groups; lowers how much they can donate and sets limits on political action committees, political parties, and candidates; and creates publicly funded campaigns for state races.Koch’s Americans for Prosperity wants to defeat Measure 22 before it spreads to other states. They’ve called and knocked on the doors of 50,000 voters, denouncing the initiative as a “money-grab by politicians.”
91% of fossil fuel industry campaign donations are going to Republican candidates and 9% to Democrats, reports InsideClimate News.