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The Power of the Pollution Lobby

Environmentalists, voters, and communities in the South have the public's support for a great many issues, including smart growth, clean water, and clean air. Yet while the public wants to have common sense regulations, our public officials often drag their feet when it comes to creating and enforcing environmental laws. It is no small coincidence that the businesses and corporations who pollute the most in the South are also making large campaign contributions to elected officials. Public officials become dependent on this private money to run for office and to be re-elected. As their dependence grows on the "pollution lobby" and its campaign contributions, so grows the weight of polluters' opinions with public officials. It is a terrible cycle caused by the undue influence of private money in public elections.

Consider the case of the:
North Carolina Pollution Lobby
North Carolina Environmental Groups

Spending by 36 Pollution Lobby PACs (1993-96)
(Leading members include real estate and home
builders, fuel oil dealers, chemical manufacturers,
timber and mining, and the hog industry)
$2.75 million
Spending by N.C. Environmental PACs (1993-96)
The Sierra Club PAC and NC League of Conservation
Voters are the only environmental PACs in North Carolina.

Whose voices are being heard
when it's time to clean up our water and air?

The environmental community will never have the deep pockets of polluters. Clean Money alternatives, such as the Voter-Owned Elections Act, will cut the ties between wealthy special interest groups and politicians and will mean having public officials who are responsive to voters instead of donors.

For more on the Pollution Lobby in North Carolina: The Full Pollution Lobby Report


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