Posted by Sheldon Rampton on March 18, 2009

As the climate change debate heats up, energy-related companies are spending millions of dollars to influence state-level politics in the U.S. Between 2003 and 2007, energy-related companies such as Chevron contributed $151 million to state-level politics, according to a new study by FollowTheMoney.org. In sharp contrast, environmental organizations and alternative energy companies contributed only $26 million. Eighty percent of the money from energy and manufacturing coalitions went to incumbents, and two-thirds went to Republicans. In addition, energy and manufacturing coalitions employed 7,538 lobbyists to influence legislation at the state level.

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that nothing we do to help fight climate change is wasted. It benefits us in other ways. If we reduce energy consumption we reduce pollution, which contributes to lung and heart disease. We reduce our dependency on foreign oil. There is more money in our pockets and less in the oil companies if we carpool, or use public trans. I believe the obesity epidemic is exaggerated by pharma's marketing departments, but I also believe exercise benefits everyone if they walk or bike instead of using their cars. Traffic congestion is also reduced. So even if the experts are wrong about global warming, which I don't believe but some people have their doubts, or even if they are right but their timetable is wrong, cutting back on energy is still the smart thing to do.

Bill Moyers presents "United States of ALEC," a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of -- ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.