Across the country and here in Vermont, candidates are being asked to reject campaign contributions from the gas, oil and coal industries. And it’s working. Already, 100+ Vermont candidates who will be on the ballot in November have stepped up to take the pledge. Check out the full list of signers!
There’s no question it’s time to end the big money influence of this polluting industry. But not everyone agrees.
The Vermont Republican Party has attacked candidates for standing up to the fossil fuel industry and completely mischaracterized the pledge in a Trump-like twist.1
In truth, the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge is straightforward and clear. Here’s what it says:
“I pledge to not take contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industry and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.”
It doesn’t say anything about supporting or opposing any other policies. The VT GOP has literally made up that claim out of thin air. Why? Maybe because it’s hard to criticize someone for putting family, climate and democracy above fossil fuel industry profits without lying about it.
We believe fighting the ravages of climate change should be a non-partisan issue. We had hoped that in Vermont at least, the idea of rejecting campaign contributions from polluting industries would be something that candidates of all political stripes could get behind. That’s why the VT GOP’s false claim was so disappointing.
But maybe they’re just protecting their interests. After all, at the federal level since 2008, oil and gas interests have given 85% of their contributions — more than $234 million — to Republican candidates, while giving just under 15% to Democrats.2
Regardless of who the industry gives its dirty money to, you can be sure they expect a return on the investment — like billions of dollars in subsidies and laws that benefit polluters instead of people.
So again, let’s give credit where it’s due. Let’s say THANKS to the 100+ candidates who’ve stepped up and taken the pledge so far. And while you’re at it, encourage other candidates to take the pledge too.