Climate lobbying heats up at the state level

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As it turns out, the Center’s report last month on the 2,340 lobbyists working on federal climate change policy here in D.C. was just the tip of the proverbial (melting) iceberg.

According to a new study by the National Institute on Money in State Politics (FollowTheMoney.org), since 2003, over 9,210 lobbyists have likewise descended on the nation’s state capitols to lobby on climate policy. With 36 states that have passed or are weighing plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there’s no shortage of players trying to edge in their agenda.

The energy and manufacturing industry are the heftiest spenders in the game, with more than 80 percent of those lobbyists representing such companies. Environmental and alternative energy groups account for the rest.

Campaign contributions likewise track this lopsided spending. From 2003 to 2007, energy, manufacturing and pro-business organizations gave a collective $182 million to state-level candidates — more than seven times the amount contributed by environmental groups and alternative energy companies put together.

In the coming weeks, watch FollowTheMoney.org for more state-specific studies on climate lobbying. Likewise, stay tuned for more from the Center for Public Integrity on the federal climate change lobby, slated for release soon.

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