In a report released today, Earthjustice and Public Campaign established in detail for the first time the strong correlation between big corporate contributions to the Bush-Cheney campaign and Republican National Committee (RNC) and Bush administration policy paybacks that benefit these interests.
"These contributions and policy paybacks tell the story of how corporate interests brought the Bush administration to power so that it could weaken the law to benefit the companies' bottom line," the groups said. The report, entitled PAYBACKS, makes an accounting of industrial contributors to the Bush-Cheney campaign and the industry-friendly policies that have become the regular order of business since President Bush took office. The report also names some of the top environmental officials within the administration who built their careers as lawyers and lobbyists for the industries they are now in charge of regulating.
"The Bush administration's anti-environmental agenda doesn't just appear to be made-to-order for polluting industry interests. It is," conclude Earthjustice and Public Campaign in PAYBACKS. "Industries now reaping the benefits of an administration intent on eliminating important environmental and public health safeguards are the same ones that helped underwrite the Bush-Cheney campaign and the RNC with more than $44 million in contributions."
"Over thirty years of progress in addressing environmental problems – spurred by public servants and private individuals of all political persuasions – is being squandered by this administration," said Buck Parker, executive director of Earthjustice. "The Bush administration is giving away our nation's clean water and air, national forests, and public lands to its corporate contributors."
"Because you have to pay to play in the current campaign finance system, anti-environmental special interests with plenty of cash see all their policy wishes granted. Meanwhile, the public's interest in a healthy environment is ignored," said Nick Nyhart of Public Campaign.
The report, which is available on the web (www.earthjustice.org and www.publicampaign.org), focuses on the investments made by timber, mining, oil and gas, coal-burning utilities, chemical, and other manufacturing interests. PAYBACKS shows how these investments resulted in handsome returns for polluting and resource extractive industries in the form of anti-environmental policy decisions, often facilitated by Bush administration political appointees who are former industry lawyers and lobbyists.
The groups also will launch a website today (www.GeorgeWBuy.com) that presents some of the information from the report. "The GeorgeWBuy website is an accurate depiction of the sad reality: the Bush administration has put the public's health and precious natural resources on the auction block," said Parker.
Earthjustice is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. We bring about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws on behalf of hundreds of organizations and communities.
Public Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of special interest money in America's elections and the influence of big contributors in American politics.
Maria Weidner, Earthjustice, 202.667.4500, x. 237
Rick Bielke, Public Campaign, 202.293.0222
Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.