Friday, March 20, 2020

Surprise! Oil and gas companies give more money to legislators that vote against the environment.

Goldberg et al. analyze campaign contribution data over 28 years to show that, rather than attempting to influence votes, interested parties contribute the most to legislators that have policy positions that are already aligned with the interested party.
Do campaign contributions from oil and gas companies influence legislators to vote against the environment, or do these companies invest in legislators that have a proven antienvironmental voting record? Using 28 y of campaign contribution data, we find that evidence consistently supports the investment hypothesis: The more a given member of Congress votes against environmental policies, the more contributions they receive from oil and gas companies supporting their reelection.

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