To give you a sense of what the environmentalists, farmers, students, and activists were up against in their fight to halt the $7 billion Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, there's this: TransCanada spent $410,000 in just the last three months of 2011 to lobby for the 1,700 mile pipeline.
Corbin Hiar of iWatch News reports that the total marks a new high in lobbying expenditures for the company. From the story:
The total is $20,000 more than TransCanada spent in the previous quarter and nearly double the $220,000 it spent in the second quarter of 2011.Recent reports also reveal that TransCanada executives have been directly collaborating with top Republicans in the fight to get the pipeline approved.
The lobbying totals are small considering what was at stake. TransCanada was seeking State Department approval of the proposed 1,702-mile-long Keystone XL pipeline. The $7 billion project would have connect Canadian tar sands deposits to Texas refineries.
In other words, the popular movement against the Keystone XL faced a deep-pocketed corporation with direct access to the Republican establishment. The good news is that smart organizing, a passionate opposition and clever campaigning managed to overcome the cash flow and political influence—but this should give you some idea of the kind of battle that awaits anyone who would take issue with the polluting policies of fossil fuel companies. It hardly needs be said: The deck is clearly stacked against the average citizen ...