Why is Senator Blanche Lincoln co-sponsoring a measure to block the EPA's ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions? It could have something to do with the nearly quarter-million dollars she received from oil and gas industries this year.
In response to accusations that Lincoln is acting in the interests of energy companies and other big polluting industries, her spokesperson told Greenwire: "Senator Lincoln is accountable to Arkansas voters alone."
But in Lincoln's case, the numbers speak for themselves. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Arkansas Senator tops the list of donation recipients from the Oil & Gas industry, bringing in a whopping $249,150 in the first two months of 2010 alone. This figure outstrips the next highest recipient - David Vitter (R-LA) - by almost $70,000.
Meanwhile, Dirty Air Act author Lisa Murkowski (R-Big Oil) is huddling again with dirty energy lobbyists to raise money for her re-election campaign. The Alaskan Senator ranks third in contributions from oil & gas, bringing in $173,876 so far this year. Murkowski also tops the list for contributions from electric utilities.
Plenty of industries are willing to pay a high price for a license to pollute, and they seem to have found some reliable allies in their campaign to defeat key environmental initiatives proposed by the EPA.