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Cap and Trade Squares Off Against $76M PR Barrage

smokestackitude21Through the first quarter of 2009, opponents of U.S. climate legislation have spent at least $76 million on public relations and advertising against any such measure. That figure is what oil and coal companies alone have spent this year through April 27.

Companies from the U.S. oil, gas, coal and heavy manufacturing industries — facing a higher cost of business under a cap and trade program — are spending heavily to discredit climate legislation, reports the Guardian U.K.

By the time all is said and done, opponents of climate legislation will have spent hundreds of millions of dollars, the article states.

By contrast, groups favoring climate change legislation have spent less than $29 million this year through April 27, according to figures from the Campaign Media Analysis Group.

Key Democratic lawmakers that accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from the coal and oil lobbies during the last election also stand in the way of climate legislation advancement. At least a dozen Democratic lawmakers stand opposed to the efforts.

President Obama’s final $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, released May 7, retains the controversial provision that all permits for carbon emissions will be auctioned.

Many in Congress are pushing for at least half of the permits to be given away. If all emission permits are sold, that should pull in $646 billion in revenue during the course of the first few years of the program.

Recent research shows that U.S. heavy industry would not leave en masse for foreign shores if cap and trade legislation is passed.

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