One of the largest solar companies in the country gave more than $30,000 to a Republican attorney general group targeting Obama-era climate rules, according to a Wednesday report from The Center for Public Integrity Group (CPI).
Solar panel producer SolarCity donated $36,000 to the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) during the past three years, but refused to give any money to the Democrat’s AG association. The GOP group has consistently used money from donors to rail against President Barack Obama’s climate rules.
SolarCity, which merged with electric vehicle tycoon Tesla earlier this year, has a vested interest in promoting policies that seek to make fossil fuel production nearly impossible — the company gave $20,000 to RAGA this year and another $15,000 in 2016.
RAGA called Obama’s Clean Power Plan rule “unlawful” and an example of the Environmental Protection Agency’s willingness to carry out a war against fossil fuels. RAGA also warned that the so-called CPP would kill jobs and artificially raise electricity prices.
Company chairman Elon Musk, meanwhile, has suggested in the past that electric vehicles and other green energy technologies could potentially help save Earth from man-made global warming.
“The greater the change to the chemical composition of the physical, chemical makeup of the oceans and atmosphere [due to increased carbon emissions], the greater the long-term effect will be,” Musk told a reporter in 2015 when responding to questions about how fossil fuel production affects climate change.
CPI’s report details the 27 major companies that actively supported the Paris climate agreement, which required the U.S. to dramatically reduce its carbon emissions. President Donald Trump removed the country from the accord in June.
Three other companies were supportive of the Paris deal that gave to RAGA, but not the Democratic Attorney General Association (DAGA). Energy companies ExxonMobil and Dow Chemical, for example, gave $210,375 and $140,000, respectively.
Dow Chemical did not respond for comment, but Exxon gave a detailed explanation for why the company gave so much to RAGA, despite the group’s belligerent attitude toward the Paris accord.
“Our support does not constitute an endorsement of every policy position or point of view expressed by a recipient organization,” Exxon said in a statement. “We conduct an annual evaluation of the merits of each organization and reserve the right to initiate, sustain, or withdraw support at any time.”
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