On Friday, The Hill reported on the U.S. House of Representatives voting 261-152 "to insist that lawmakers negotiating a bicameral transportation programs funding bill include approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline." Who voted yes and who voted no regarding this major item on Big Oil's wishlist? Oil Change International looks into it, and what it finds is as unsurprising as it is unappealing:
The influence of dirty energy money has once again reared its ugly head.
Those voting in favor of the inclusion of Keystone in the bill have taken over 11 times more money from Big Oil during this Congress – almost $6 million – than those opposed. On average, those supporting the move took 6.5x more money than those opposing it. And since 1999, supporters have taken $32.5 million from oil interests while those in opposition have taken $4.5 million.
As we've pointed out previously, the dirty energy lobby has expertly used the catastrophic Citizens United Supreme Court decision to buy a Congress that is now heavily populated with the foolish and the bought. What they've done with the influence they've purchased is simple: work to keep their taxpayer-funded gravy train of government handouts, favorable legislation, lax environmental enforcement, you name it, going as long as possible. And in the case of Keystone, they (unfortunately) appear to be succeeding. They also seem to be confirming, as Oil Change International puts it, "the myth that our decision makers actually listen to the interests of their constituents, rather than the special interests that finance their campaigns."