Democrats Backtrack on Big Oil Campaign Contribution Embargo

Democrat Big Oil

Original images: Oil Pipeline Pumping Station in rural Nebraska. By shannonpatrick17 from Swanton, Nebraska, U.S.A. (Trans Canada Keystone Oil Pipeline) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Democrat Logo By Steven Braeger – A friend, requesting that I upload it as they don’t have an account, CC0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s new green deal put on hold?

Democratic National Committee Backtracks On Its Ban Of Fossil Fuel Donations

The move comes just two months after the party adopted a resolution to prohibit oil, gas and coal company contributions.

By Alexander C. Kaufman
11/08/2018 4:59 AM AEST

The Democratic National Committee passed a resolution Friday afternoon that activists say effectively reverses a ban on fossil fuel company donations.

The resolution introduced by DNC Chair Tom Perez states that the party “support[s] fossil fuel workers” and will accept donations from “employers’ political action committees.” It was approved by a 30-2 vote just two months after the committee adopted another resolution prohibiting donations from fossil fuel companies by a unanimous vote.

The new resolution nods to “forward-looking employers” that are “powering America’s all-of-the-above energy economy and moving us towards a future fueled by clean and low-emissions energy technology, from renewables to carbon capture and storage to advanced nuclear technology.”

I am furious that the DNC would effectively undo a resolution passed just two months ago just as the movement to ban fossil fuel corporate PAC money is growing (and Democrats are winning),” said R.L. Miller, president of the super PAC Climate Hawks Vote, who co-sponsored the original resolution.

Read more:

A copy of the DNC resolution (obtained from a link in the article above):

Click here to download.

I think it is encouraging that the Democrat establishment have demonstrated, however reluctantly, that they understand renewable energy technology is not ready to power the US economy.

89 thoughts on “Democrats Backtrack on Big Oil Campaign Contribution Embargo

  1. I think anyone in the fossil fuel industry who donates to the Democrats is suicidal, or a masochist.

    • I worked with more than a few democrats in the oil and gas industry….they loved the money. Tells you a lot right there.

      • Back when Texas and the rest of the South was solidly Democrat, that party probably predominated in the Oal Bidnuss.

        But they were as far from 21st century Dumpocraps as yellow is from blue. Or perhaps I should say as red is from violet.

      • I remember hearing a story when I was working in banking.

        Apparently President Putin wanted to promote Moscow as a financial centre, so he invited loads of top banking executives to an event. At the event all the bankers were personally assured that if they were bothered by the mafia or unfair competitive practices they could always call the Kremlin to sort out any problems.

        My understanding is the bankers felt the offer wasn’t attractive – a stable rule of law is more predictable and conducive to growth than having influential friends. Though I guess if you want to run a bank in Moscow you better have some pretty impressive phone numbers in your diary.

      • When was that? The Democrats have not been orthodox greens before maybe the early 2000’s. There used to be some diversity in the party before then, but the anti-war candidates were also mostly greens as well.

    • Nah, they are VERY smart business people and will play both sides of the isle (aka. the swamp). The real solution is to remove special interests (whatever that might be).

      • The RNC has raised over $200 million, plus what they had left over…

        …the DNC has barely raised $100 million…and still haven’t paid off their debt..which is over 8 million right now

        …they will take children’s lunch money and steal from porn queens….attack people for words…and go all out to put a rapist back in the whitehouse

      • Special interests are what most people call other people’s PACs.
        As PJ O’Rourke said, “As long as politicians control buying and selling, the first things bought and sold will be politicians”.
        The only solution is to take away from Washington the power to pick winners and losers in the economy.

        • Exactly! Special interests/lobbyists are a natural reaction to excessive government power. If government can help/hurt your business, you better get lobbyists to represent your interests.

    • A slight modification:

      I think anyone in the fossil fuel industry who donates to the Democrats is suicidal, or a masochist insane.

      • OR someone who has also invested in renewables and would be happy to own both and delighted to have America pay for a whole reboot with their product.

      • One would think that older people would have learned when Obama raided Medicare beneficiaries to help fund his faux insurance scam.

        But they probably won’t wake up until they personally are rated “surplus, too expensive to maintain” by the Quality Assurance Death Panel.

    • I would hope that the fossil fuel companies would remember what the DNC thinks of them. One can never trust a traitor.

    • The problem is that unless you grease palms on both sides of the aisle, you will be persecuted by agents of the government.

  2. I think it is encouraging that the Democrat establishment have demonstrated, however reluctantly, that they understand renewable energy technology is not ready to will never be a major supplier of power [to] the US economy.

    There, fixed it for ya’ Eric.

    • Ha. There is actually a way of making solar power reliable – put the solar farm in orbit.

      This could be built economically (in a manner of speaking) by using a space elevator to launch the components, or a manufacturing plant on the moon, to take advantage of the moon’s lower gravity when launching components.

      Probably won’t happen this year.

      • Wouldn’t clouds effect that as well? Or would the power be great enough to burn a hole through the atmosphere at any time? Wouldn’t it still kill birds and airplanes?

        • Some frequencies of microwaves will penetrate clouds well, and if the rectenna used those, that might not be a problem. However, I do believe they are also those used for broadcast media, so there would be objections.

          • The first SciFi story I know of that mentions using satellites to collect solar energy and beam it to earth as microwaves is “Reason” by Issac Asimov published in 1941. It was later published as part of an anthology of stories called “I, Robot” in 1950 which is where I first encountered this story. If you have never read the book, I highly recommend it (The movie “I, Robot” is very loosely based on this book).

          • Followed shortly thereafter by the science fiction stories of those who lived on the moon (and other satellites) threatening their earth-bound victims with high-velocity weapons thrown down from orbit at the conveniently-fixed-in-place cities (er, targets) below …

            Done as early as Heinlein against Earth (Moon is a Harsh Mistress, I believe), as recently as the Stars Wars universe Rogue Squadron (X-Wing, Wedge’s Gamble) novels against Coruscant. ) Star Wars’ Death Star blast of Alderan is similar – though from a purpose-designed weapon.

            Not surprisingly, all such tactics (solar-burning-by-satellite, hyper-velocity impact from space, and simple low-speed mass drops from space) are forbidden in most science fiction universes by “interstellar treaty” or else conquering planets would be too easy.

          • The more infrastructure you decimate during the conquest, the longer it takes to repair and repurpose into a contributive asset. On a planetary scale, you’d also play havoc with the climate and potentially make it uninhabitable for decades or more. And the local population can’t help rebuild if they’re all dead. So there’d also be pragmatic reasons for not bombarding worlds from orbit.

          • “(The movie “I, Robot” is very loosely based on this book).”

            About the only similarities are robots, and the three laws. That’s about it.

          • Jeff Alberts, agree, the movie is like almost all recent movies — awful w/alot of tedious/obvious CGI.

        • If you are going to use a space elevator to build it, you may as well leave it in place and use the fiber cable to carry the current back to earth. Be a real problem for a lot of folks if the cable ever snapped! 22,000 miles of cable would make quite a dent in many communities when it crashed, whipping to the ground.

    • The Democrats demonstrated no such thing. They demonstrated that none of their positions means anything, and that it really is all about the Benjamins.

  3. Cuomo Plan to Divest Pension Fund from Fossil Fuels Cost NY $1T

    Andrew Cuomo, so-called governor of New York, but his actions are so egregious, so outside the mainstream, we can’t keep silent. Cuomo is bragging that he’s not only shut down fracking in the state, he’s also blocking natural gas pipelines and blocking new gas-fired electric generating plants. He’s clinically off his rocker. And now Cuomo is pushing NY’s public employee pension fund to completely divest any stock holdings in fossil fuel companies. University of Chicago Law School Prof. Daniel Fischel and Compass Lexecon economists Christopher Fiore and Todd Kendall have analyzed the risks associated with fossil fuel divestment by both New York and Colorado’s retirement funds. They found that over the next 50 years, divesting NY’s retirement fund will cost NY pensioners $1 TRILLION of value they otherwise would have had in their pockets. Will anyone have the guts to stop the Cuomo train wreck before it’s too late?…

    From our friends at Energy in Depth:

    Andrew Cuomo has been on a virtual crusade against shale development and natural gas use during his term as New York’s governor. And it’s something he’s proud of, recently bragging to Politico that in addition to “blocking pipelines,”

    “I don’t build any fossil-fuel plants anymore, and I banned fracking, and I have the most aggressive renewable goals in the country.”

    In December, Gov. Cuomo’s actions culminated in an announcement that he plans to divest the New York State Common Retirement Fund from fossil fuel investments – a move a new report finds could cost the state’s pensioners more than $1 trillion.

    The Independent Petroleum Association of America-commissioned report, authored by University of Chicago Law School Prof. Daniel Fischel and Compass Lexecon economists Christopher Fiore and Todd Kendall, analyzed the risk of fossil fuel divestment by New York and Colorado’s retirement funds, finding such an action could result in combined shortfalls totaling more than $2 trillion over the next half-century. These burdens would be shouldered directly by retirees and taxpayers — further illustrating the real-world consequences of a “Keep It In the Ground” agenda that leaders in each state have either supported or been pressured to implement in recent years.

    As Prof. Fischel explained:

    “New York and Colorado have both come under political pressure to give up pension investments in fossil fuels, but at what cost? Our research shows that large pension funds stand to lose a substantial amount of value if they decide to adopt a divestment policy. The energy sector plays an important role in diversifying a given portfolio, so eliminating that exposure means higher risk and reduced returns to the tune of millions if not trillions of dollars over an extended timeframe. These types of costs leave pensions to make a hard choice: reduce pensioner benefits or increase contributions from taxpayers to the fund.”

    The report finds fossil fuel divestment by the New York State Common Retirement Fund — the nation’s third largest pension fund — could cost up to $198 million annually, assuming a broad divestment plan that includes utilities, and total more than a $1 trillion in losses over 50 years.

    Those losses are the equivalent of eliminating the average annual benefits of 8,500 retirees. That is just one of the many reasons why the New York business community — and even members Cuomo’s own party — have rejected his divestment strategy.

    Business Council of New York State president Heather Briccetti wrote in a May op-ed that,

    “New York should heed the lessons learned by other fund managers who have considered similar divestitures. Pension funds all over the country have faced political pressures from activists but have rejected the policy once they see the hard numbers.”

    Nobody is more cognizant of the real-world “hard” numbers Briccetti speaks of than Democratic New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. That explains why he has rejected Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill di Blassio’s divestment rhetoric earlier this year:

    “My fiduciary duty requires me to focus on the long-term value of the Fund. To achieve that objective the Fund works to maximize returns and minimize risks. Key to accomplishing this objective is diversifying the Fund’s investments across sectors and asset classes including the energy sector.”

    If Gov. Cuomo were to follow through on his stated plans to divest from fossil fuels, it would be just the latest example of his politically driven “Keep It In the Ground” pandering yielding adverse economic impacts on New York, particularly the economically depressed rural regions of the state.*

    Click the link below to finish reading this excellent post on the EID website.

    *Energy in Depth (Aug 10, 2018) – Report: New York Governor’s Campaign Against Oil & Gas Could Cost Pensioners $1 Trillion

    • $1T over 50 years is peanuts compared to what Cuomo did to create the Mortgage meltdown and financial crisis. He is the man who is single-handedly most responsible for that mess, yet he is still walking around a free man rather than in prison.

      Through an unlikely streak of changes in leadership during the Clinton administration, Cuomo became the head of HUD (Housing and Urban Development). One of the things he did whilst there was force the mortgage marketplace to produce and sell junk mortgages. He did this by requiring Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to ensure that over 50% of the mortgages they purchased from banks in the mortgage market were junk mortgages. I believe Bush tried to stop the train wreck a couple of times, but neither party really wanted to halt the practice of giving mortgages to people who obviously couldn’t afford them. Temporarily at least, home ownership was hitting record levels, but obviously built on a foundation of sand.

      The month that had the absolute highest number of 3 and 5-year balloon mortgages coming due, with market interest rates finally to be applied and monthly payments jumping way up to actually pay off some principal, was September, 2008, and the rest is history. The mortgage market crashed and burned when the new payments couldn’t be made. Cuomo.

      Years later Barney Frank did finally admit that “yeah if turns out it wasn’t such a good idea to sell all those houses to people that couldn’t afford them”. Cuomo is an idiot.

      • “BobM

        Cuomo is an idiot.”

        I am not so sure about that. He made a lot of money in ways that probably are illegal and got to stay out of prison.

        • Or someone who relishes being a conservative stereotype poster child for the opposition. A green, anti-nuclear, anti-fracking, anti-gun, redistributionist Democrat.

      • HUD has had as many scandals as the United Nations.
        The agency was formed in 1965.
        The first major book on HUD/scandal was published in 1970.
        Well, that is the first one I remember.

    • Cuomo is running for re-election as the NY state governor in November with the primary in September. His challenger on the Democratic ticket is the actress from “Sex and the City” Cynthia Nixon. From what I’ve read (link below) she is even more to the left than Cuomo is. Nixon has Bill McKibbens’ endorsement, which should tell you something about her.

      Either way, if NY keeps a Democrat in the governor’s office in Albany, energy policy that is sadly lacking in rationality will likely remain in place for the next 4 years. Glad I don’t live in that state.

  4. On the contrary, the Democrats do notunderstand renewable energy technology is not ready to power the US economy.” Rather, they evidently just understand where the big money resides.

  5. Think about this for a minute. A political party suggests that what you invest your money in should be ideologically approved. As more “renewable energy” is introduced it increases the value of fossil fuel energy because of reliability and cost. The attempts to promote wind and solar as more economical than fossil fuels is without merit, logical reasoning, and historical fact. How long will it take for the people to understand the scam?

  6. So who is Climate Hawk Votes?
    And who is RL Miller?

    From their website:

    “RL Miller is the Political Director of Climate Hawks Vote and President of Climate Hawks Vote Political Action. RL is the elected chair of California Democratic Party’s environmental caucus and tweets way too much as @RL_Miller. Past work has included exposing the politics of climate denial, opposing fracking for oil in California, and training others to advocate for legislation. RL earned high honors in political science at UCSD for writing a thesis on coal exports, and a law degree from UC Davis. Outside interests include keeping chickens and sleeping.”

    What a looney toon!!

    And here is Climate Hawk Votes Board of Directors.

    Richard Graves, Clean Choice Energy
    Bill McKibben,
    Lydia Avila, Power Shift Network
    Phil Radford, President, Progressive Power Lab
    Anya Schoolman, Executive Director, Solar United Neighbors
    Jigar Shah, founder of SunEdison and author of Creating Climate Wealth
    Mustafa Santiago Ali, Senior Vice President, Hip Hop Caucus

    Yep, Gotta have that HipHop worldview to understand Climate Change apparently.

    And Jigar Shah, and his SunEdison?
    “How SunEdison went from Wall Street star to bankruptcy”
    “SunEdison Sets Bankruptcy Exit With Nothing for Shareholders”

    Nigar’s “creating climate wealth” apparently was only for himself, as his investors got their financial clocks cleaned on his green scam.

    And the rest are nothing but Marxists, especially Nutty McKibben. I’m surprised they don’t have pseudo-scientist on their board like Bill Nye, the Pseudoscience Guy.

    What a bunch of Losers.

      • And the big players secretly don’t mind the onerous regulations that tend to follow in the wake of Democrats, as they raise the barrier to entry for competition, while they can just pass the extra costs onto the consumer.

    • It’s proportional. If you give $2 million to Republicans, and $1 million to Democrats, and the Dems happen to take control, they might be less inclined to bite the hand that gave them $1 million than otherwise.

  7. Perhaps the Fossil Fuel Industry will finally wise up and stop funding political parties that are intent upon seeing to their ultimate demise. Go GOP

  8. Can you say: “defined contribution”?
    Some years ago we had the opportunity to move to a defined contribution retirement program. We signed the papers as soon as we could, and have never looked back.
    We live in the Great Left State of Washington.
    We are free to make our own mistakes.

    • Yep! South Africa (apart from the Civil Serpents) moved over from ‘Defined Benefit’ to ‘Defined Contribution’ years ago. And now, it’s up to the individual to avoid the scamsters when investing the lump. However, there have been a fair number of scams on the part of the pension fund managers – mostly in the case of the UNIONS.

  9. ““I am furious that the DNC would effectively undo a resolution passed just two months ago just as the movement to ban fossil fuel corporate PAC money is growing (and Democrats are winning),” said R.L. Miller, president of the super PAC Climate Hawks Vote, who co-sponsored the original resolution.”

    I can almost hear him stamping his tiny little feet.

    • Jeff

      There for some time now, a coup d’eatat within the DNC has being in motion.
      In quite slow motion up to now, but considering that November is fast closing in,
      the fight will become fierce, fast and “bloody”.

      The old DNC guard is desperately trying a fend against the takeover from
      the “new blood”, which in turn seems to have a better and stronger support
      from the base.

      It will be fanny and interesting to see how this will play out!


      • The new blood is much further to the left as well.
        Some openly advocate the nationalization of all major industries.

  10. Sounds to me like the Dems are desperate for any contributions they can get! Otherwise they would have little reason to accept donations from their “enemies”.

  11. Jim Quinn was ahead of the curve on this, he predicted they would reverse this at the first opportunity when it was first announced. Pelosi, Ellison and Perez have no control of their machine, and it is just delicious to watch it coming apart.

  12. “said R.L. Miller, president of the super PAC Climate Hawks Vote”
    Climate Hawks Vote? Abandon the Democratic party?
    For whom?

  13. Once again the Democrats demonstrate that their ethics are for sale.

    PS: The original ban was passed with much fanfare and media attention, while the repeal of the ban occurred pretty much in the dark and wasn’t publicized in any way.

  14. Isn’t it amazing how the Democrats keep playing the rich Republican and their evil corporate support card when most of the richest corporate heads and their corporations have supported the Democrats the last several elections.

    This has nothing to do with the Democrats seeing the light relative to renewable energy technology not being ready for prime time. This is all about supporting union leadership and trying to get money. The past four or five mid-term elections the Democratic Party have tried to move to the center. In Republican held seats that are competitive they recruit moderate, usually ex-military, and run on rather bizarre, at least for the modern Democratic Party, platforms. In 2006 it was “if you elect me I will go to D.C. get us out of the Iraq War and stop deficit spending.” Of course when elected such freshmen became back benchers helping only to add to the majority.

    • And think how many of those corporate support cards are actually coordinating to undercut the current administration.

  15. My first employer, Enserch Exploration, had a PAC. They routinely supported both candidates, usually contributing more money to incumbents of either party than to challengers.

    The goal seemed to be to not piss anyone off. They succeeded in encouraging a lot of us to stop contributing to the PAC, particularly after the tax deduction was reduced in the late 1980’s.

  16. ‘I think it is encouraging that the Democrat establishment have demonstrated, however reluctantly, that they understand renewable energy technology is not ready to power the US economy.’

    I think it’s more of sign of pure cynicism – they want their money.

  17. The Dumbocrats figured out not to bite the hand that feeds you. Something like those liberal-arts colleges that wanted to “divest” their pension funds from fossil-fuel companies, then figured out that their professors would get drastically lower pensions. Oh well, we’ll take their dividends, dirty or not!

  18. Maybe they figured out where the money was going after the earlier vote. Also, energy employees are more likely to have made up their mind already than corporate lobby deciders.

  19. The DNC has been known to have “Gone Green” for quit some time.
    Some have known for some time just what kind of “Green” they are really after.

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