Very few Americans understood what the election of 2000 was really about. One clue might have been that the Republicans ran two oil men agains Al Gore, who is probably the closest an environmentalist ever got to becoming President.

But if you look at campaign contribution data from the 2000 election, you'd get a lot more clues. Gore had made it clear that he would go after many extractive and polluting industries during the Clinton Presidency. So what did we see happen to campaign contributions from such industries? How much of an increase did we see over their contributions to Bush Sr. and Bob Dole in the two previous Presidential elections cycles.

Automotive +433% Ratio Bush/Gore 10.8/1

Gore had started the SuperCar program in 1993. In 2000, Ford, GM and Chrysler all unvielied working diesel electric sedan hybrids that got 75 mpg at a conference Gore attended. They were scheduled to be mass produced in 2004, but the industries worried they wouldn't sell and didn't want to pay to retool factories to produce them.

Chemical +341% Ratio Bush/Gore 9.1/1

Coal Mining +285% Ratio Bush/Gore 6.6/1

We all now Gore's stance on global warming, and plans to institute a Carbon tax and carbon trade system to combat carbon emissions.

Electric Utilities +328% Ratio Bush/Gore 6.1/1

Forestry +532% Ratio Bush/Gore 12.3/1

Clinton had enacted the "roadless rule", closing the remaining 59 M acres of virgin forests in the national forests to logging

Livestock +582% Ratio Bush/Gore 24.4/1

Gore planned on going after factory farms for air and water pollution

Mining +372% Ratio Bush/Gore 8.7/1

Oil & Gas +297% Ratio Bush/Gore 13.8/1

Trucking +236% Ratio Bush/Gore 7.6/1

Source: (Center for Responsive Politics)

The Clinton administration had enacted the "diesel rule" to clean up the soot emitted by diesel engines.

During the 2000 campaign, very little was said about the environment or global warming. Only one question in debates address it. Bush promised to address carbon emissions, but went back on that pledge later.

We all know the outcome of the election. What many didn't notice was that Bush's very first appointed was Gayle Norton to Sec. of Interior. She was the infamous James Watt's protege in the '80's. While American were fixated on the "War on terror" she went about quietly giving away public lands and leases to extraction industries and polluters.

What was Dick Cheney's first act as VP? The Energy Task Force, supposedly a necesssary response to the "energy crisis" in CA, which we now know was manufactured by Enron and others. The task force produced a wish list for the fossil fuel industry, setting the nation on a course for being ever more dependent on fossile fuels (not to mention drawing up maps to carve up Iraq's oil fields)

On the day of Inauguration, Bush's first act was to put on hold all of Clinton's environmentally friendly executive orders.

For eight years, we did nothing about global warming. The Bush administration opened millions of acres of public lands all over the country to oil and gas, and permits for drilling skyrocketed, all while publicly saying companies were being shut out of public lands. It's why we are a world leader in production today.

He enacted "Clear Skies" which actually increased pollution power plants and industry could put into the air. He enacted "Healthy Forests" which actually allowed more clear cutting by the forestry industry. They were very good at creating good sounding names for environmentally unfriendly initiatives, programs that did exactly the opposite of what they suggested they would.

Kerry was also a threat to extractive and polluting industries. We saw further dramatic increases in campaign contributions to Bush-Cheney.

Automotive +176% more than 2000

Chemical +103% more than 2000

Coal Mining +238% more than 2000, Bush/Kerry ratio 42.6/1

Electric Util +204% more than 2000

Forestry +194% more than 2000

Livestock +147% more than 2000

Mining +188% more than 2000 Bush/Kerry ratio 34.8/1

Oil and Gas +120% more than 2000 (They had gotten much of what they wanted)

Trucking +182% more than 2000

Source: (Center for Responsive Politics)

The selection of Sarah Palin, former governor of oil-friendly Alaska was more for her pro oil and gas beliefs and positions than for being a woman. Gingrich started the "Drill here, drill now, pay less" campaign. Remember, "Drill, baby, drill" being shouted at the Republican convention. At the time, Republicans were pushing hard to open offshore drilling and the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to drilling. I've always believed the spike in gas prices preceding the election was intended to force Congress' hand, and influence the election in favor of McCain/Palin. Democrats in Congress did drop their opposition to drilling offshore. A few years later, we had the BP accident.

During Obama's adminstration, we've made great strides toward renewable energy, and addressing carbon emissions and global warming. He's pretty much said he will block the Keystone pipeline.

Republican have said their first move will be to push Keystone through the Congress.

ALEC is encouraging state legislatures to enact "pre-emptive" laws that favor oil, gas and coal, and even try to thwart solar and wind. Republican will surely cut subsidies to those industries. Expect Republicans to try to attack and roll-back or eliminate any efforts Obama has made to address carbon and emissions and global warming in the next two years.

Now we here Jeb BUSH will probably make a run for President in 2016. If he were to win, we'd have a repeat of what happened after the 2000 election. Republicans in control of the House, Senate and the White House. It will not be good news for the environment, renewable energy, and addressing global warming.

But once again, I'm betting the American public won't realize the real agenda of the 2016 election.


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