After wading through thousands of pieces of testimony and analyzing lobbying expenditures from both fossil fuel and clean energy advocates, a picture begins to emerge of how the fossil fuel industry has built beachheads that give it a strategic advantage and can slow down strong climate policy and the potential for transformational change.
Here are five key takeaways from our report:
1. Climate and renewable energy solutions face a major lobbying disadvantage. The analysis showed that electric and gas utilities spent $24 million on lobbying between 2013-2020, amounting to four times that of renewable energy firms ($6 million) and more than eight times that of environmental organizations ($2.7 million).
2. A small group of anti-climate interests create the loudest opposition to climate legislation. The majority of positions taken in written testimony given by the electric/gas utility, heating oil, business association, auto, fossil fuel, and real estate sectors opposed priority climate legislation. Specific opposition to priority climate legislation most often came from AVANGRID/UIL, the CT Business and Industry Association, the Connecticut Petroleum Council, and Eversource.
- Evaluating and addressing the oversized political influence of utilities
- Identifying opportunities to broaden climate coalitions to help advance policy and blunt pro-fossil fuel business attacks
- Confronting anti-climate solution messaging on cost, reliability, and business atmosphere
- Improving transparency, accountability, and opportunities for public voice in the legislature and its committee process
To read the full report, click here.