BC’s fossil fuel lobbyists and political influence


by Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Canada

The fossil fuel industry lobbied the B.C. government more than 22,000 times between April 2010 and October 2016, according to a report released Wednesday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives as part of the Corporate Mapping Project.

The report also found that 48 fossil fuel companies and associated industry groups have donated $5.2 million to B.C.political parties between 2008 and 2015 — 92 per cent of which has gone to the BC Liberals.

The analysis found seven of the top 10 political donors from the fossil fuel industry are also B.C.’s most active lobbyists.

The Corporate Mapping Project is a six-year research and public engagement initiative jointly led by the University of Victoria, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Alberta-based Parkland Institute.

Researchers have painstakingly analyzed lobbying and political donation records to demonstrate the extensive political influence of the fossil fuel industry in B.C.

I was definitely surprised at the sheer volume of lobbying contacts that we found,” Nick Graham, lead author of the report and PhD candidate at the University of Victoria, told DeSmog Canada.

Spectra Energy, Enbridge, FortisBC, Encana, Chevron Canada, CAPP and Teck Resources conducted the majority of registered lobbying contacts, more than 19,500 in total since the lobbyist registry was first initiated in 2010 — an average of 14 lobbying contacts in B.C. per day.

We were expecting to see some overlap between political donations and lobbying,” Graham said. “Part of what donations help achieve is access to government so we certainly expected to see some of that.”

The top 10 fossil fuel industry donors were responsible for $3.8 million in contributions to the BC Liberals and $270,000 to the BC NDP.

The Corporate Mapping Project report, co-authored by Shannon Daub of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Bill Carroll, professor of sociology at the University of Victoria, is the first systematic analysis of fossil fuel lobbying in B.C. READ MORE


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