WASHINGTON, D.C. - On the night of Wednesday, April 14, 2016, environmental activists taking part in the Democracy Spring mass nonviolent actions projected 16-story high images on the office fronts of D.C.’s top pollution lobbyists. The visual protest aimed to spotlight exorbitant political spending against the environment.
At around 9 p.m., Friends of the Earth and Oil Change International projected visuals of the video game character Pac-Man, a play on words for Super PACs, gobbling up the logos of leading oil and gas companies contributing to climate change. This loop played on the headquarters of the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The projections highlighted the millions of dollars each organization spends lobbying to expand fossil fuel production and to resist regulation addressing climate change.
“Oil and gas giants like Chevron and Exxon hide behind API and the Chamber of Commerce to do their dirty work in the capitol,” said Jon Fox, senior democracy campaigner for Friends of the Earth. “We hope to shine a bright light on the millions of dollars dirty fuel lobbyists spend to keep polluting the planet.”
In 2015, API spent nearly $7.8 million lobbying for its clients -- which include more than 650 of the industry’s worst polluters. API’s lobbying to delay investments in clean and safe alternatives to oil, thwarts efforts to avoid the devastating effects from a global rise of 2 degrees Celsius, such as the melting of Arctic ice, sea level rise, more extreme tornados, hurricanes and floods.
Since the 2010 Citizen’s United ruling, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee spent more than $1 million to elect anti-environmental political candidates across the country. During the same time period, the Chamber spent $542 million to actively support anti environmental policies that put all of us at risk, such as the TPP trade agreement.
“The Chamber put its weight behind the TPP which protects dirty energy companies from the environmental and public health regulations necessary to protect us all from climate change,” Fox said.
For more information on the reforms needed to reclaim our democracy, visit http://www.foe.org/democracy.
Friends of the Earth fights to create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, ensuring the food we eat and products we use are safe and sustainable, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.