Guv Candidates Who Won't Take Fossil Fuel Bucks Shouldn't Stop There

Friday, April 13, 2018

Each of the three Democrats running for governor of Massachusetts has pledged not to take certain campaign contributions from the oil, gas and coal industries, the State House News Service (SHNS) reported yesterday. 

Jay Gonzalez, Bob Massie and Setti Warren are among the latest candidates for public office in this nation to take the "No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge," which has been conceived and promulgated by a group called 350 Mass Action. 

350 Mass Action bills itself as "a statewide volunteer network dedicated to eliminating the influence of fossil fuel special interests over our political process and advancing a fair and speedy transition beyond fossil fuels towards a 100% clean, renewable and just energy future." 

The pledge requires Messrs. Gonzalez, Massie and Warren not to "accept knowingly" any contributions exceeding $200 from the political action committees, executives or "front groups" of companies whose primary business is extracting, processing, distributing or selling fossil fuels.  (Knowingly.  Isn't that a great lawyer word?)

In 2016, the SHNS informs us, 350 Mass Action put forward a similar pledge, asking candidates to forswear donations of over $200 from executives, lobbyists or others employed by 10 specific companies: British Petroleum, Chevron, Eversource, Exxon/Mobil, Global Partners, Global Petroleum, Kinder Morgan, National Grid, Shell and Spectra Energy. 

Seventy-five candidates for the Massachusetts legislature ultimately signed that pledge, and 40 were elected, 350 Mass Action says.

I’m kind of impressed that three would-be governors of a major state have taken such a bold position against the oil, gas and coal industries. 

I'd be seriously impressed, though, if this trio swore off using fossil fuels ever again.  No cars.  No train, bus or airline trips.  No furnaces or boilers for home heating, etc., etc.


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