Solar and Wind Contributions to Republican Candidates

The Story:

In a historic shift in US campaign finance, money from renewable energy companies is going more to Republican than to Democratic candidates this year. The Solar Energy Industries Association, for example, has contributed $26,700 to Democratic candidates and PACs thus far this cycle, while contributing more than twice that, $56,500, to Republicans.

Background:

The shift may be a simple reflection of companies’ willingness to pay incumbents, those in an immediate position to do them some good. Republicans are in the majority in the House, the Senate, the White House, and a majority of the state legislatures, so a policy of “sidle up to incumbents” will favor the GOP.

The Thing to Know:

Solar and wind-power oriented businesses together now employ roughly 300,000 workers in the US. This has allowed Republican lawmakers to support pro-renewables measures as jobs boosters for the heartland rather than as a way of fending off climate change, something in which much of their base does not believe.

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