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57% of Ted Cruz's Campaign Is Financed by Fossil Fuel Industry

  • Ted Cruz

    Ted Cruz | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 March 2016

The fossil fuel industry's high contributions are likely to give it immense leverage in a Republican White House

Finding a single Republican candidate from the past that has not taken money from the oil and gas industries is difficult. However, Ted Cruz is probably one of the industry's most promising investments.

The senator has received more than US$25 million from the fossil fuel industry, resulting in the majority of his campaign being funded from oil and gas companies.

Cruz has frequently called climate change “religion” and is one of the Senate’s most vocal climate change deniers. On his website he says he would not only abolish the Energy Department but also eliminate at least 10 existing climate change and environmental programs.

According to an analysis of Federal Election Committee data by Greenpeace there are 124 so-called "megadonors" who have given more than US$100 million to Republican super PAC's—political action committee that may raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, including from corporations and unions, to campaign independently for candidates for federal office. These donors include executives, board members and major investors in the fossil fuel industry.

RELATED: Court Victory for Coal Threatens US Promises on Climate Change

And Cruz is just one of their recipients, although he is certainly one of the most important, according to Jesse Coleman, a Greenpeace oil and gas campaigner.

“Ted Cruz’s complete denial of climate change science is perfectly in line with the business interests of his biggest funders," Coleman said.

History shows that fossil fuel donors have favored Republican candidates over their Democratic counterparts “These fossil funders have made denying climate change and ignoring scientists a prerequisite for being a Republican candidate,” Coleman added.

But Cruz not only finances his campaign with oil and gas money. Nearly a quarter of his current personal wealth is made up of direct investments in fossil fuels. And he is not the only one.

Donald Trump, the current Republican frontrunner, has received less funding than Cruz from fossil fuel companies but he has millions in personal wealth directly invested in the industry.

Trump has even suggested that climate change is a conspiracy invented by China to make the U.S. less competitive.

Whereas influence is a tricky thing to measure, it is obvious that the oil and gas industry is one of the most influential industries on Capitol Hill. Its influence is the major barrier to a clean energy transition.

And it is exactly this transition that we need if we want to reduce our risk of dangerous climate change. Scientists have no doubt that the world's use of fossil fuels must fall if we are to prevent global warming from reaching a disastrous 2 degrees Celsius before 2050.

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