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COLUMBIA, SC — U.S. Senate candidate Tom Clements of the S. C. Green Party condemned Jim DeMint’s acceptance of corporate donations from British Petroleum (BP), saying “DeMint’s taking money from BP shows he’s in bed with the dirty industry Congress is supposed to regulate. DeMint has sold out to the highest bidder and stands with polluting companies against the environment and working people.”
A recent report published by the Climate Action Network found that leading European polluters are giving donations to members of the U.S. Senate who deny the reality of climate change. According to the report, DeMint received $13,000 this year alone from European companies known to oppose climate legislation in the European Union. Among others, DeMint received $1,000 from BP.
The report stated that the donations appear to be a coordinated effort by major European polluters:
“Big European emitters Lafarge GDF-Suez, EON, BP, BASF, BAYER, Solvay and Arcelor-Mittal supported climate change deniers in the US Senate in 2010 for $107,200. Their total support for senators blocking climate change legislation in the US amounts to $240,200, which is almost 80% of their total spending in the 2010 Senate race. This is why those funds are seen as systemic. This amount is higher than the same type of spending of the most notorious U.S. climate denier and Tea Party funder: Koch Industries ($217,000).”
The aforementioned Koch Industries gave DeMint $10,000 in the current election cycle. He also received the following European corporate contributions:
- Bayer: $5,000
- BASF: $2,000
- LaFarge: $5,000
- BP: $1,000
In the aftermath of the Gulf disaster, DeMint acted in the Senate to block S.3462, a bill which would have given subpoena power to the commission set up to investigate the BP oil spill. The bill had previously passed the House with the support of 169 Republicans, but DeMint used parliamentary maneuvering to keep it from reaching the floor of the Senate. Footage of DeMint stopping the legislation on June 30, two months into the spill can be found here.
News of the European campaign contributions comes as new BP executive, Bob Dudley, reportedly called reaction to the spill “scaremongering.” According to the Financial Times of London on October 25, BP CEO Dudley blamed industry rivals for “rushing to judgement” over the spill. At the time of the spill and for weeks after, BP executives insisted that 5,000 barrels per day was the best estimate of oil leakage. Government scientists put the spill at 68,000 barrels per day.
“It is clear that if Jim DeMint has his way, we’ll never know the true extent of the oil disaster and its causes,” said Clements. “My opponent is willing to cover up the extent of BP’s wrongdoing. He will block sensible, effective regulations against and take donations from the very companies we should be protected against. South Carolina’s coast is particularly vulnerable. I vow to defend our environment from corporate polluters like BP, who caused the disaster in the Gulf and created a nightmare for working families who live there.”
For additional information, call 803-312-0055; or visit Tom’s website at http://clementsforsenate.com or
See the Clements For Senate You Tube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/TomClementsSenate.