The American Petroleum Institute – the largest lobbying organization for big oil polluters – announced yesterday they would start contributing to political candidates this year in preparation for the 2012 elections. The executive vice president for government affairs at API said about the announcement, "This is adding one more tool to our toolkit…at the end of the day, our mission is trying to influence the policy debate." It’s perhaps more than a coincidence that API made this announcement on the heels of President Obama announcing he will pursue cutting oil subsidies – a policy that the API said was, “a bad idea.”
This isn’t the first time the API has gotten in the game of politics. Last year – Greenpeace uncovered an internal memo at API revealing the organization attacked environmental regulation by creating and funding a fake grassroots movement. At the same time – API spent nearly $7 million lobbying Members of Congress in 2010. But of course – after Citizens United – what’s the point in lobbying politicians – when you can just BUY politicians.
And I think these guys are going for the big fish – they want the presidency.