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“Dirty” and “clean” firms lobby Congress the most

“Dirty” and “clean” firms lobby Congress the most
Scientific American
By Benjamin Hulac
Published: September 9, 2016

When lawmakers began a heated debate about climate change legislation in 2008, electric utilities Southern Co. and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. spent tens of millions on lobbying efforts.

Southern spent $14 million in lobbying related to climate change that year, while PG&E, which openly backed cap-and-trade legislation, spent $27 million and had a carbon footprint 40 times smaller than Southern.

To the authors of a new study, the two power companies are more alike than their positions on global warming indicate, and they reflect a trend of corporate lobbying on climate change.

“Both dirty and clean firms are active in lobbying, suggesting that while dirty firms lobby to maintain the status quo clean firms view environmental regulation as an opportunity to gain firm-level advantages,” Magali Delmas, Jinghui Lim and Nicholas Nairn-Birch, researchers at UCLA, said in their report.

Published last month in an Academy of Management journal, the study examined 1,141 companies.


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