The Democratic lawmaker known for blasting global warming skeptics on the Senate floor is accusing Coke and Pepsi of secretly trying to derail the climate change movement.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island suggested in a letter to the New York Times that the soda companies are lobbying against environmental issues because they help fund the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which, according to the Democratic lawmaker, works to subvert the fight against global warming.
“Coke and Pepsi have very laudable climate policies, and make strong public statements,” Whitehouse wrote in a letter to The NYT. The memo was in response to an editorial published by the paper Oct. 10 arguing the two companies act inconsistently on public health issues.
He added; “But they lobby Congress through the American Beverage Association, which is moribund on climate (but very lively when a soda tax is proposed), and through their association, they support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an implacable foe of any meaningful climate legislation.”
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are giving millions of dollars to 100 prominent health organizations in recent years, according to studies highlighted by The NYT. The beverage giants also spend millions to defeat public health-centered legislation that would reduce Americans’ soda intake.
Whitehouse frequently blasts global warming skeptics, as well as groups he believes aren’t doing enough to fight man-made global warming.
The Rhode Island Democrat argued in June that the Justice Department should launch a racketeering case against fossil fuel companies that were questioning the validity of popular global warming theories.
Democratic California Rep. Ted Lieu introduced resolutions in both chambers of Congress in July that “urges fossil fuel companies and allied organizations to cooperate with active or future investigations into their climate-change related activities.”
Whitehouse also directed 19 of his fellow Democratic senators in July to attack conservative and libertarian organizations such as Americans for Prosperity and the Cato Institute from the Senate floor for engaging in what the senators call a “web of denial.”
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