For Democrats climate denial can be lucrative and the longer you hold out the more you get paid. Although the number of Democrats who deny the existence of climate change is dwindling, those who support the fossil fuel industry and oppose climate legislation are getting millions from the oil and gas industry.
If you follow the science or even know how to read, it is hard to understand how anyone could ignore the overwhelming body of evidence supporting climate change. It is especially hard to understand how these officials could support the fossil fuel industry and oppose climate legislation.
Republicans ignore climate change as part of a party wide strategy to oppose President Obama and support the fossil fuel industry. Resistance to climate action from a Democrat’s perspective seems somewhat incomprehensible, that is until you factor the financial incentives. To illustrate the point, consider what Democrats in Arkansas and Alaska are getting in return for their fossil fuel advocacy and refusal to support climate legislation.
Democrat Mark Pryor is a Senator from Arkansas who was first elected in 2003. According to the Center for Responsive Politics he has received more than $111,000 from the oil and gas industry between 2003 and 2008. From 2009-2014, he received $247,000.
Democrat Mark Peter Begich is a Senator from Alaska who was first elected in 2007. Begich did even better than his colleague from Arkansas. He got $142,000 from the oil and gas industry between 2007 and 2009. Since then, he has gotten more than $366,000.
Why do Democrats ignore the facts about climate change? Because acting in the interests of their constituencies is nowhere near as lucrative.