America’s Dirtiest Power Plants: Plugged into the Bush Administration

America’s Dirtiest Power Plants: Plugged into the Bush Administration ranks the top 50 polluting power plants for three pollutants: sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and mercury. While these top polluters represent only a fraction of their industry, they account for far more than their share of pollution.

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Link: America’s Dirtiest Power Plants

Campaign Contributions and Fundraisers

Since 1999, the 30 biggest utility companies that own plants on the three “Dirtiest” lists have poured $6.6 million into the coffers of the Bush presidential campaigns and the Republican National Committee (RNC), whose chief mission is to elect the party’s presidential nominee. This level of contributions places electric utilities among the industries that have given the most to support Bush’s campaigns – comparable to such major givers as drug manufacturers and HMOs. The electric utilities and their trade associatio n, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), have produced 10 “Rangers” and “Pioneers,” the Bush campaign’s super- fundraisers who collect at least $200,000 or $100,000, respectively, in earmarked contributions.

These Rangers and Pioneers, despite being limited by law to maximum individual donations of $2,000, raised at least $1.5 million using the Bush campaign’s sophisticated “bundling” system – by which corporate executives, lobbyists and other insiders pool together large numbers of contributions to maximize their political influence. The contributions are credited to the bundlers using tracking numbers assigned to them by the campaign. So far in the 2004 election cycle, the campaign has recruited two Rangers and five Pioneers from the electric utility industry, compared with six Pioneers in 2000 (when there was no Ranger category).