Energy Production, Political Campaign Contributions and National Survival23 Feb

Table 1 below compares energy production from Oil & Gas with Alternative Energy that includes solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and bio mass. Not contained in this list are coal and nuclear. Shown in the table are political campaign expenditures made by Oil & Gas and Alternative Energy organizations. Political campaign contribution data was derived with appreciation from OpenSecrets.org.

The ratios line in the table shows that Oil & Gas spent far more on political campaign donations than Alternative Energy by 28 to 1. On the other hand, Oil & Gas produced more energy than Alternative Energy by more than 7 to 1.

Table 1. Lobbying Versus Energy Production

Campaign Contributions, 2012 Energy Produced, 2009 (quads)
* Oil & Gas $70M 58.6
* Alternative Energy $2.5M 7.7
* Ratios 28/1 7.6/1
(1 quad: 36M tons of coal)

Political campaign money spent by Oil & Gas pays handsomely. Consider tax breaks for example:

Oil Companies’ $21 Billion U.S. Tax Break Survives Repeal Effort in Senate

Oil Industry Revives Campaign to Avoid Losing Tax Breaks

Tax Breaks – Big Oil Makes Massive Profits whilst the Federal Budget Struggles

In contrast, wind Alternative Energy received far less consistent Congressional support compared to Oil & Gas:

Production Tax Credit For Wind Power Saved, For One Year

Assessing the Wind Production Tax Credit

Wind Gets Production Tax Credit for Another Year With Crucial Language Change

Conclusions:

  • Congress is for sale.
  • Alternative Energy might be more successful if it matched political campaign money donated by Oil & Gas. More Alternative Energy influence money might “buy” increased R&D funding from Congress needed by that industry to become commercially viable. Oil & Gas is a technically mature industry and needs little governmental R&D funding or massive tax breaks.
  • Oil & Gas influence money (i.e., Congressional/Presidential campaign donations) detract from what ought to be the primary energy mission of the United States: insuring the long term survivability of this country with Alternative Energy. Non-renewable energies will eventually decline to a level where they are unaffordable.
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  1. | JHEverson Consulting Reply

    […] a recent blog post, I noted that Alternative Energy (i.e., wind, solar) would most likely receive considerably […]

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    […] recent blog post noted that Oil & Gas has profited considerably from their donations to political campaigns in […]

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About Dr. Everson

Prior to forming this SBIR consultant practice, Dr. Jeffrey Everson was director of business development for QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group (previously Foster-Miller, Inc.).

Dr. Everson has won and been the principal investigator for several SBIR programs, including a Phase I program for NASA, a Phase I project for the U.S. Air Force, and Phase I and II contracts from the U.S. Department of Transportation. For the Phase II program, he received a Tibbetts Award for exemplifying the best in SBIR achievement.

Previously Dr. Everson held senior scientist positions at Battelle Memorial Institute, The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC), Honeywell Electro Optics Systems Division, and Itek Optical Systems Division.

He holds a PhD in physics from Boston College and a MS/BS in physics from Northeastern University.

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For more information about how JHEverson Consulting can help your company with its SBIR and STTR proposals, please contact Jeff Everson.

JHEverson Consulting is based in the Boston area but consults for clients throughout North America. It also is supported by affiliated consultants.