“The message ‘You’re too close to Big Oil’ will trump the message ‘I’m for drilling off the coast’ every time.”

“The oil wing of the Republican party is like the mafia or the Crips or the Bloods — once you get in you can never get out.”

— Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope, on the recent defeat of Rep. David Davis (R-Tenn.) after his opponent accused him of being beholden to Big Oil, and on the politics of Big Oil on the Hill in general. Pope appeared at The New Republic‘s panel on “The Future of Environmentalism.”

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