This Is the Case: Divest Harvard Teach-In on the Fossil Fuel Industry’s Political Influence

As I wrote about in my previous blog post, Divest Harvard filmed a conversation with Harvard President Drew Faust about divestment, and she said that she does not believe that the fossil fuel industry influences the political process.

In response, Divest Harvard is holding a series of teach-ins tomorrow (Tuesday March 11th) at 12pm, 12:30 pm, and 1 pm. We will explain how the fossil fuel industry DOES influence politics.

FOR EXAMPLE, the House of Representatives voted last Thursday “to block the EPA’s recent rules limiting carbon pollution from power plants, a move aimed at curbing President Obama’s “war on Coal.”” Now the EPA can’t mandate carbon capture and storage, the Clean Air Act is severely weakened, and Obama’s climate plan is greatly limited in its ability to curb carbon emissions.

So this bill is not good, to say the least. Unsurprisingly, fossil fuel money did play a part in this vote. According to ThinkProgress:

“The bill has gained the support of House Republicans and some House Democrats, seven of whom have signed on to the bill as co-sponsors. According to an analysis by CAP Action, the 229 members who voted for the bill have accepted more than $45.7 million in contributions from the oil, gas and coal industries over the course of their careers — an amount that’s more than 8 times the $5.4 million accepted by the 183 members who voted against the bill — and 123 of them have publicly denied climate change. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has also introduced a companion bill in the Senate.”

So, President Faust. This IS the case of the fossil fuel industry’s political influence. And the effects are clear, current, and destructive.

Check out the video that a Divest Harvard member made to promote our teach-in tomorrow:



Add yours →

  1. In our “democracy”, it is basically legalized bribery that controls policy-making. Why does she imagine they are giving politicians 45,000,000 dollars? Just, like, for the heck of it? It’s quid pro quo. As I watched a bit of the all-nighter in the Senate, it was at first, inspiring, but then kinda sad also, because even a well-meaning, heroic kind of leader is up against the richest forces, and I don’t know how anything can be accomplished when the ones with the most money always win. That’s why the divestment effort is even more important, because, one would like to think, it is not corrupted in the same way, but maybe it is. I recently watched a doc called “Schooled: the price of college sports” with Sam Rockwell, and it was incredible how much money is made off of “amateur” unpaid athletes. There is a saying “everyone has their price”, and I think that even academia is full of folks that compromise their principles and ethics if the price is right. There’s something really wrong going on, when smart, hard-working students have enormous debts, never able to be discharged, and then a few, like, coaches of the football teams, are multi-millionaires. What kind of lesson does that teach us as students and citizens?

  2. Is Faust’s political orientation known? Her behavior suggests far-right.

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