Drop what you’re doing and get thee to Follow the Coal Money, a new project from Appalachian Voices and Oil Change International.
Modeled on Follow the Oil Money, it allows you to determine exactly how much coal money is going to your legislator (either by name or by zip code).
I wouldn’t exactly call the results surprising, but they do confirm what you suspect: Coal money buys lots of legislative protection and pork for the coal industry.
A few notes: though coal money has shifted somewhat toward Democrats since 2006, the bulk still goes to Republicans.
And here’s something to keep you awake at night. The two Congressfolk most likely to be in charge of climate policy next session, the top two guys on the House Energy Committee, are Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and John Dingell (D-Mich.). The two top recipients of coal money? Rick Boucher and John Dingell. Comforting!
Via the email I got in which the project was announced:
One quick note: These data are a lot better than the straight Center for Responsive Politics data because we really tried to isolate companies that had strong interests in coal (e.g., we only included utilities that produce 70% of their power or more from coal). This also got rid of companies like Goldman Sachs, which are listed by CRP in the coal industry (among other industries), but tend to swamp out the money from companies that are more tightly linked to coal production and consumption.
Much more here.