IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The climate lobby: a sectoral analysis of lobbying spending on climate change in the USA, 2000 to 2016


  • Robert J. Brulle

    () (Drexel University)


Lobbying is considered to be an important factor in the success or failure of climate change legislation. This paper provides an estimate of lobbying expenditures related to climate change legislation in the U.S. Congress from 2000 to 2016. During this time period, over $2 billion was spent on this activity, constituting 3.9% of total lobbying expenditures. Major sectors involved in lobbying were fossil fuel and transportation corporations, utilities, and affiliated trade associations. Expenditures by these sectors dwarf those of environmental organizations and renewable energy corporations. Levels of expenditures on lobbying appear to be related to the introduction and probability of passage of significant climate legislation. Future research should focus on tying particular positions on climate legislation and lobbying expenditures at the corporate level.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Brulle, 2018. "The climate lobby: a sectoral analysis of lobbying spending on climate change in the USA, 2000 to 2016," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 289-303, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:149:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10584-018-2241-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-018-2241-z

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert Brulle & Jason Carmichael & J. Jenkins, 2012. "Shifting public opinion on climate change: an empirical assessment of factors influencing concern over climate change in the U.S., 2002–2010," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 169-188, September.
    2. Elizabeth Shove, 2010. "Beyond the ABC: Climate Change Policy and Theories of Social Change," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 42(6), pages 1273-1285, June.
    3. Robert Brulle, 2014. "Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(4), pages 681-694, February.
    4. Kim, Sung Eun & Urpelainen, Johannes & Yang, Joonseok, 2016. "Electric utilities and American climate policy: lobbying by expected winners and losers," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 251-275, June.
    5. Grumbach, Jacob M., 2015. "Polluting industries as climate protagonists: cap and trade and the problem of business preferences," Business and Politics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 633-659, December.
    6. Downie, Christian, 2017. "Business actors, political resistance, and strategies for policymakers," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 583-592.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Lobbying Against Key US Climate Regulation 'Cost Society $60 Billion,' Study Finds
      by ? in DeSmogBlog on 2019-06-04 01:20:38
    2. Lobbying against key US climate regulation ‘cost society $60bn’, study finds
      by ? in Skeptical Science on 2019-06-10 19:55:00


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ankrah, Isaac & Lin, Boqiang, 2020. "Renewable energy development in Ghana: Beyond potentials and commitment," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    2. Maxwell Boykoff & David Oonk, 2020. "Evaluating the perils and promises of academic climate advocacy," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 163(1), pages 27-41, November.
    3. Catola, Marco & D'Alessandro, Simone, 2020. "Market competition, lobbying influence and environmental externalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jeremiah Bohr, 2017. "Is it hot in here or is it just me? Temperature anomalies and political polarization over global warming in the American public," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 271-285, May.
    2. Saatvika Rai, 2020. "Policy Adoption and Policy Intensity: Emergence of Climate Adaptation Planning in U.S. States," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 37(4), pages 444-463, July.
    3. Jared Cory & Michael Lerner & Iain Osgood, 2021. "Supply Chain Linkages and the Extended Carbon Coalition," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 65(1), pages 69-87, January.
    4. Shaw, Christopher & Hurth, Victoria & Capstick, Stuart & Cox, Emily, 2018. "Intermediaries’ perspectives on the public’s role in the energy transitions needed to deliver UK climate change policy goals," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 267-276.
    5. Timo Busch & Lena Judick, 2021. "Climate change—that is not real! A comparative analysis of climate-sceptic think tanks in the USA and Germany," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 164(1), pages 1-23, January.
    6. Sarah P. Church & Belyna Bentlage & Roberta Weiner & Nicholas Babin & Brian R. Bulla & Katelyn Fagan & Tonya Haigh & J. Stuart Carlton & Linda S. Prokopy, 2020. "National print media vs. agricultural trade publications: communicating the 2012 Midwestern US drought," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 43-63, July.
    7. Burchell, Kevin & Rettie, Ruth & Roberts, Tom C., 2016. "Householder engagement with energy consumption feedback: the role of community action and communications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 178-186.
    8. Gupta, Kuhika & Nowlin, Matthew C. & Ripberger, Joseph T. & Jenkins-Smith, Hank C. & Silva, Carol L., 2019. "Tracking the nuclear ‘mood’ in the United States: Introducing a long term measure of public opinion about nuclear energy using aggregate survey data," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    9. Poortinga, Wouter & Aoyagi, Midori & Pidgeon, Nick F., 2013. "Public perceptions of climate change and energy futures before and after the Fukushima accident: A comparison between Britain and Japan," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1204-1211.
    10. Edmond Daramy-Williams & Jillian Anable & Susan Grant-Muller, 2019. "Car Use: Intentional, Habitual, or Both? Insights from Anscombe and the Mobility Biography Literature," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(24), pages 1-17, December.
    11. Kertcher, Zack & Venkatraman, Rohan & Coslor, Erica, 2020. "Pleasingly parallel: Early cross-disciplinary work for innovation diffusion across boundaries in grid computing," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 581-594.
    12. Shelley Boulianne & Mireille Lalancette & David Ilkiw, 2020. "“School Strike 4 Climate”: Social Media and the International Youth Protest on Climate Change," Media and Communication, Cogitatio Press, vol. 8(2), pages 208-218.
    13. Brown, Christopher J. & Markusson, Nils, 2019. "The responses of older adults to smart energy monitors," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 218-226.
    14. Filippo Corsini & Rafael Laurenti & Franziska Meinherz & Francesco Paolo Appio & Luca Mora, 2019. "The Advent of Practice Theories in Research on Sustainable Consumption: Past, Current and Future Directions of the Field," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-19, January.
    15. Xu, Xiaojing & Chen, Chien-fei, 2019. "Energy efficiency and energy justice for U.S. low-income households: An analysis of multifaceted challenges and potential," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 763-774.
    16. Peter Frumhoff & Richard Heede & Naomi Oreskes, 2015. "The climate responsibilities of industrial carbon producers," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 132(2), pages 157-171, September.
    17. Mireille Chiroleu‐Assouline & Thomas P. Lyon, 2020. "Merchants of doubt: Corporate political action when NGO credibility is uncertain," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(2), pages 439-461, April.
    18. Henrik Serup Christensen & Lauri Rapeli, 2021. "Immediate rewards or delayed gratification? A conjoint survey experiment of the public’s policy preferences," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 54(1), pages 63-94, March.
    19. Valdes, Javier & Poque González, Axel Bastián & Masip Macia, Yunesky & Dorner, Wolfgang & Ramirez Camargo, Luis, 2020. "Unveiling the potential for combined heat and power in Chilean industry - A policy perspective," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    20. Guo Li & Wenling Liu & Zhaohua Wang & Mengqi Liu, 2017. "An empirical examination of energy consumption, behavioral intention, and situational factors: evidence from Beijing," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 255(1), pages 507-524, August.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:149:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10584-018-2241-z. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.