It was reported this week that the oil industry has spent $6.2 million on lobbying in the past 6 months. These figures came to light in a report that was recently released by the California Secretary of State’s Office. However, these numbers seem incredibly low in comparison to independent numbers that were recorded last year.
According to the report, one of the largest lobby groups in California, the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), spent $2,529,240 in just six months, and that is just one firm! In 2013, they spent 4.67 million throughout the entire year, but last year they ended up setting a record by spending nearly $9 million on lobbying efforts.
The WSPA lobbies on behalf of the entire industry, and accepts grants and donations from various corporations. However, the corporations themselves also invest large sums of money into their own lobbyists. Chevron, for example, spent $1.5 million lobbying in the state of California alone, during the first 6 months of the 2015 fiscal year.
The national trend of big oil lobbying is prevalent all throughout the country, although California just happens to be where much of the activity occurs. Nationally the numbers are even higher, though, with the oil industry spending $64,252,393 for lobbying last year, and that’s just what is on record.
Many of the specific causes that these corporations are lobbying for are secret and the negotiations are made behind closed doors. However, for years it has been apparent that oil companies have been pushing to keep alternative energy and fuel systems off the market. Additionally, these companies lobby for subsidies and corporate welfare which ends up returning their investment tenfold.
In many cases, political influence for these corporations doesn’t just come in the form of lobbying. Instead many companies just buy their own politician through campaign donations, and thus will be able to control that politician once they get into office.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.
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