Something is wrong.

Forest fire

Something is wrong.

Lobbyists who work for conservation and environmental groups are also working for the fossil fuel industry.

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Calpine, the biggest generator of gas-fired electricity in the country, shared eight lobbyists with the Environmental Defense Fund. Calpine claims that gas is “clean-burning” while EDF warns that methane from extracting, transporting, and burning gas will make the climate crisis worse.


The New England Aquarium has taken an activist stance on climate change and has worked with Massachusetts state legislators to file bills dealing with ocean conservation science, blue workforce development, and carbon sequestration. In 2022, the Aquarium’s lobbying firm also lobbied on behalf of Enbridge.


The climate crisis is wreaking havoc on Maine’s marine ecosystems and its fishing industry. Yet in 2023, lobbyists for one of the country’s largest operators of gas-fired power plants, NextEra Resources, also represented two groups fighting to protect Maine’s waters from the crisis–the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Protect Maine's Fishing Heritage.


Lobbying for conservation and fossil fuels at the same time might sound double-black-diamond difficult, but in 2022 the state’s fossil fuel lobbyists made it look easy. The City of Denver, several local and national conservation groups, and climate-focused philanthropies were among those retaining oil and gas lobbyists.


A proposed expansion of Westmoreland Mining’s Rosebud coal mine would increase the state’s methane emissions and exacerbate climate impacts such as increasing wildfire smoke and forest die-off. Conversely, the Trust For Public Land is working to preserve the state’s forests and wild lands. In 2022-23, Westmoreland and the Trust For Public Land were represented by the same lobbyist.

Something is wrong.

Local governments paying to deal with the climate crisis employ the very oil, gas, and coal lobbyists who are making the crisis worse.

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In 2018, Park City, Utah adopted one of the most progressive climate plans in the country, with a goal of running all city operations with renewable energy by 2022 and achieving Net Zero emissions for all of Park City by 2030. At the same time, the city has been represented by lobbyists who also work for global coal companies Holcim and Rio Tinto.


City and county governments in California face soaring costs for climate mitigation, yet many employ fossil fuel lobbyists, including the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, and Sacramento, and the counties of Alameda and San Mateo. Residents of these places overwhelmingly support a shift to renewable energy—so why are their governments hiring oil and gas lobbyists?


The climate crisis will cost Florida an estimated $76 billion by 2040, with much of the burden falling on local governments. Lobbyist registration data for 2022 reveals more than 200 local governments in Florida relying on fossil fuel lobbyists, including Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, and Jacksonville.


The climate crisis is contributing to increased flooding in Chicago, with disproportionate impacts on communities of color. The Chicago City Council has voted to ban city investments in coal, oil, and gas companies. Yet in 2022, the City continued to employ the same state lobbyist as BP America.


Minneapolis plans to reduce city emissions 80% by 2050, while St. Paul and Hennepin county both have climate plans calling for carbon neutrality by 2050. Yet in 2022, Minneapolis shared a lobbyist with Enbridge, St. Paul shared one with the Otter Tail Power Company, and Hennepin county shared two lobbyists with CenterPoint Energy MN Gas and coal- and gas-plant operator Manitoba Hydro.

Something is wrong.

Colleges and universities—whose students are pushing for divestment from fossil fuels—continue to employ lobbyists who also work for ExxonMobil, the Koch Companies, and other funders of climate denialism.

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The Johns Hopkins University voted to divest from coal in 2017 but continues to employ lobbyists who work for two companies with substantial coal interests, NRG Energy and Holcim Participation.

New Hampshire

What do you get when you cross the Ivy League with Canadian tar sands oil? The answer, in New Hampshire, is the lobbying firm RYP Granite Strategies, which works for both Dartmouth College and Enbridge.


California State University recently pledged to divest from fossil fuels, yet continues to employ lobbyists who work for Chevron and Nextera Energy. Chevron spent $4.9 million on lobbying in California in the first quarter of 2023, more than twice as much as the next fossil fuel company in California.


Wildfire smoke is especially dangerous for children, yet ten public school districts in the state employ fossil fuel lobbyists. The University of Washington recently pledged to divest from fossil fuels by 2027, yet continues to employ a lobbyist who works for Marathon Petroleum.


In Omaha, the climate crisis is inspiring a series of climate strikes in the public schools, yet in 2022, the Omaha Public Schools employed the same lobbyists as fossil fuel entities Black Hills Energy, Tallgrass Energy, and the Omaha Public Power District. Students are also pressuring the University of Nebraska to divest from fossil fuels. In 2022, the University’s lobbying firm also lobbied on behalf of fossil fuel companies Kiewit and Tenaska.

Is your lobbyist failing on climate?

Research by F Minus reveals more than 1,500 state-level lobbyists who are playing both sides of the climate crisis by working for the fossil fuel industry at the same time they are working for people, communities, schools, businesses, nonprofit organizations and others being harmed by the crisis.

F Minus is disrupting this dynamic. Use this database to discover the extent to which fossil fuel lobbyists are also representing victims of the climate crisis in your state.

© 2024 F Minus. All Rights Reserved.

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