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Tag: American politics

Koch, Exxon And Other Big Oil Spend $141 Million Lobbying Washington For More War

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

As of April, the oil and gas industry had already spent over $34 million to influence American politics this year. Fossil fuel companies are one of the top sources of funding for Washington lobbying firms, and their deep pockets allow them to far outspend those who seek to protect the environment and the earth’s resources from exploitation.

The figures come from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization working “to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry and a more transparent and responsive government.” According to their data, lobbying from the energy sector topped $141 million last year. The top single corporate spender was Koch Industries, Inc., which spent $13.8 million in lobbying, followed by Exxon Mobil and Occidental Petroleum, one of the country’s top oil producers.

The center’s overview of oil and gas funding suggests that while both parties receive funding from the oil and gas industry, that money has increasingly flowed to the GOP for the last two decades, with 90 percent going toward Republicans during the 2012 election cycle.

Nevada Governor OKs Industrial Hemp Research As US Eases Cannabis Restrictions

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Last week, Nevada became the latest state to pass a bill supporting the cultivation of industrial hemp, a valuable cash crop that became illegal thanks to the American war on drugs.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Tick Segerblom, unanimously passed both chambers of the Nevada Legislature before reaching the governor’s desk.

“The bill will allow colleges, universities, and the state Department of Agriculture to [cultivate] industrial hemp for research purposes under an agricultural pilot program,” Thomas H. Clarke writes in The Daily Chronic, a website dedicated to cannabis law reform.

Federal regulations had banned domestic hemp cultivation until an amendment to the 2014 Farm Bill allowed limited research into the crop. Under the new regulations, large-scale cultivation is still illegal but research by state agricultural boards and universities is now allowed. The move was hailed as a limited victory by advocates for cannabis law reform.

Republican Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson Takes On Growing Movement To Boycott Israel

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Some of Zionism’s wealthiest supporters will gather in Las Vegas this weekend to consider how they can most efficiently use their money to undermine the growing support for Palestinian liberation on college campuses and throughout American society.

Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul and frequent big-dollar donor to conservative political candidates, called for the private summit at the Venetian, Adelson’s luxury hotel on the Vegas Strip, to gather top donors and pro-Israeli organizations to plan better ways to oppose the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, particularly its growing support among college and university students.

Supporters of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine are alarmed that a record number of college campuses — 15, up from 13 in the previous year — adopted resolutions during this academic school year demanding that their schools end investment in Israel.

Texas Bans Fracking Bans

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

The Texas Senate on Monday approved the so-called “Denton Fracking Bill,” a proposed new law that prevents cities from exerting any local control over the energy industry.

The law is a response to a successful referendum in Denton, Texas, which banned the fracking industry from operating inside the progressive college town, located about 40 miles northwest of Dallas. Denton’s fracking ban was inspired by concerns for air and water quality, but also the fear that the industry may have caused a recent, dramatic, increase in earthquakes — a link confirmed both by local Texas scientists and a federal study by the U.S. Geological Survey that suggested fracking can activate dormant fault lines.

House Bill 40 awaits Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature. A public supporter of the oil and gas industry, Abbott will almost certainly make the bill a law.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Troy Fraser, called the bill a “carefully crafted compromise” between the interests of energy and cities, but environmental advocates scoffed at the notion.

“The oil and gas industry got the better of everyone,” said Andrew Dobbs, program director for Texas Campaign for the Environment, in a telephone interview with MintPress News.