Amazon Has Spent $138,000 To Elect Climate Deniers This Election Cycle
Amazon has positioned itself as a climate leader. Its political donations tell a different story.
In 2019, Jeff Bezos announced a series of initiatives with an ambitious goal: positioning Amazon as a climate leader. He announced the company would reach net-zero emissions by 2040, and all of its warehouses and data centers would be powered by renewable energy by 2030. And he announced the launch of The Climate Pledge, an initiative to get other companies to join Amazon’s bold 2040 net-zero pledge.
“We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue—we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference,” Bezos said.
But in the 2022 election cycle Amazon has decided to use its size and scale to elect 25 climate deniers to Congress. In total, the company has donated $138,000 to federal candidates who have doubted the science and causes of climate change through October, according to FEC filings.
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Amazon has spent $87,500 to elect 16 climate deniers to the U.S. House
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC)
Amazon has given South Carolina Congresswomen Nancy Mace $10,000, the maximum amount allowed under current campaign finance laws.
In 2020, Rep. Mace told a reporter, “So, if you look at the history of Earth, we’ve had climate changes many times, over 130 times over millions of years. And so part of it might be man-made; part of it might be just natural environmental causes as part of the cycle of Earth.”
Rep. James Comer (R-KY)
Amazon also maxed out their contributions to Kentucky Congressman James Comer, giving him $10,000.
In a 2015 debate, Comer said, “I do not believe in global warming. ... We’ve had a very severe winter this year with 12-inch snows, so there is no global warming.”
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)
So far, Amazon has given Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson $6,000.
A page about climate change on his official government website reads, “There is widespread disagreement as to the magnitude of human influence on the climate and the degree to which any effort by humanity to reduce carbon output would slow or reverse the effects of climate change.”
Here is a full list of House candidates who have doubted the science of climate change and received money from Amazon this cycle:
Rep. Nancy Mace (SC) - $10,000
Rep. Comer (KY) - $10,000
Rep. Darin LaHood (IL) - $10,000
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) - $10,000
Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC) - $10,000
Rep. Tom Emmer (MN) - $7,500
Rep. Mike Simpson (ID) - $6,000
Rep. Pete Stauber (MN) - $5,000
Rep. Don Young (AK) - $4,000
Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA) - $3,000
Rep. Glenn Grothman (WI) - $2,500
Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI) - $2,500
Rep. David McKinley (WV) - $2,500
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL) - $2,500
Rep. Rob Wittman (VA) - $1,000
Rep. Darrell Issa (CA) - $1,000
You can view the whole list of House candidates Amazon supported and their views on climate change in this table.
Amazon has spent $50,500 to elect 9 climate deniers to the U.S. Senate
Sen. Todd Young (R-IN)
This election cycle, Amazon gave the maximum $10,000 to Indiana Senator Todd Young.
In 2014, Sen. Young told WLKY, “We’re often told there’s a consensus among scientists, and I’ve come to discover... that’s not necessarily the case,” in reference to climate change.
Sen. Young has consistently voted against bills that would combat climate change. His League of Conservation Voters (LCV) lifetime score currently stands at 7%, one of the worst in the Senate.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Amazon has given $9,000 to Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley.
Sen. Grassley has a long history of climate denial. In 2009, when a reporter asked him if he believes greenhouse gases cause climate change he said, “There's a massive amount of scientists that feel that it does.” Then he said, “There's also an increasing number of scientists that have doubt about it.”
Sen. Grassley voted against the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a bill that is expected to cut U.S. carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
Amazon has given $7,500 to Utah Senator Mike Lee.
As reported by Emily Atkin from HEATED, Sen. Lee said in a 2017 hearing that there isn’t a consensus amongst NASA scientists on climate change.
Sen. Lee responded to Atkin with this tweet:
Here is a full list of Senate candidates who have doubted the science of climate change and received money from Amazon this cycle:
Sen. Todd Young (IN) - $10,000
Sen. Chuck Grassley (IA) - $9,000
Sen. Mike Lee (UT) - $7,500
Sen. Joni Ernst (IA) - $5,000
Sen. Dan Sullivan (AK) - $5,000
Sen. John Thune (SD) - $5,000
Sen. Deb Fischer (NE) - $3,500
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (TN) - $3,000
Sen. Steven Daines (MT) - $2,500
You can view the whole list of Senate candidates Amazon supported and their views on climate change in this table.
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In order to create this list, I searched Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings for donations from Amazon’s corporate PAC to known climate deniers.
I used lists of climate deniers originally assembled by Emily Atkin at HEATED and the Center for American Progress.
You can view the full list of donations and candidates here.
Thank you. So tired of people that could DO something about climate change getting paid to lie about it.
Thank you, Michael, for your research.