Following a vote during the June 9-10 weekend, the Democratic National Committee resolved that the party will no longer accept donations from corporate political action committees (PAC) associated with fossil fuels. Reportedly, the resolution was presented by Christine Pelosi, the daughter of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who leads the Democrat caucus in the House of Representatives.
As passed by the DNC, the resolution bans all “corporate PAC contributions from the fossil fuel industry that conflict with our DNC Platform” so that Democrats can “walk our talk in harmony with our stated beliefs and convictions.”
There are media reports that the DNC may also forego contributions in excess of $200 from donors who are employed by the oil, gas or coal industry. A definite vote on that prohibition is expected during a board meeting this August in Chicago.
According to the leftist Think Progress website, the fossil fuel industry has historically given more money to Republicans than to Democrats. Approximately 90 percent of oil and gas contributions in 2016 went to Republicans, while they were closer to 100 percent in the case of the coal industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, oil and gas companies contributed, nonetheless, more than $7.5 million on 2016 Democratic races. However, Republican races garnered approximately seven times that amount.
Environmentalists have pushed Democrats to eschew donations from the fossil fuel industry, and it is unclear how the DNC vote will impact party fundraising. Democrats have been under progressives’ scrutiny for any ties to fossil fuels. Greenpeace, for example, blasted Hillary Clinton in 2016 for accepting donations from oil, gas, and coal. California Governor Jerry Brown (D), according to Think Progress, has “historically gone easy on the state’s fossil fuel industries, working closely with petroleum companies and courting industry officials.” California currently has the highest taxes at the pump for gasoline.
And during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Democrats courted the ire of environmentalists and progressives when organizers allowed some events to promote the American Petroleum Institute.