Some of the country’s most climate-conscious local governments–and communities being hardest-hit by the climate crisis–employ lobbyists who also work for the fossil fuel industry. Research by F Minus reveals thousands of towns, cities, and counties whose employment of fossil fuel lobbyists is radically at odds with their own plans to deal with the crisis.
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 Fresno, 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.
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.
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.