“There are some folks who have supported the Green New Deal who have done nothing else as far as legislation,“ Rick Larsen said to a group of constituents gathered at Loft Coffee Bar in October 2019, “and there are folks who haven't supported the Green New Deal resolution and are doing a lot to fight climate change”. In one sentence, self-described progressive Rick Larsen not only completely dismissed the advocacy efforts of the Green New Deal's supporters like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Senator Ed Markey, but also totally brushed off the resolution by adopting the conservative Democratic view that the Green New Deal doesn't matter because it isn't technically legislation.
“So, I'm in that second group and I'm OK being that second group,” the one considered doing a lot to fight climate change. Rick then hypothesized, “I think if I support the Green New Deal and come back six months later say, ‘well, what have you done since?’—I'm just skipping ahead to that point”. Rick doesn't elaborate on what “point” he would be skipping to. Would it be the point where he scores record fundraising from local refining giant Tesoro? Or was it voting for legislation like the Energy Act of 2005 that stripped the Environmental Protection Agency's powers to regulate fracking fluids in a provision dubbed “the Halliburton loophole”?
No matter how Rick may attempt to greenwash his record with platitudes offered to climate activists, he can never erase a long history of friendship with the fossil fuel industry. Beyond money, Rick is personally invested in building relationships with fossil fuel boosters like Craig Cole. Cole is an owner of the grocery store chain Brown & Cole and was involved with organizations and actions that had misrepresented the efforts of the Lummi Nation while promoting the Gateway Pacific Terminal. In response to his actions, the Whatcom Watch called Cole “racist” and “anti-Indian”, statements that he sued them over in 2014.
On April 10th, 2012 activists from Socialist Alternative protested a fundraising event featuring Craig Cole for none other than his friend, Rick Larsen. At the time, the Gateway Pacific Terminal was facing heavy criticism from environmentalists and local tribal leaders over concerns about its intent to export millions of tons of coal and other fossil fuels responsible for the climate crisis. Emotional pleas were made to Bellingham's leaders from its residents—sometimes with crowds of a thousand people—to not approve of the terminal's development.
Nevertheless, Rick was given another thousand dollars from Craig that day, on top of the $27,550 received from him already. Cole, already a loyal Larsen donor in 2012, is still around to this day. On January 21, 2020, he handed over yet another thousand dollars to Rick's campaign—this time against Jason Call.
Two years later Rick said in a Facebook post, “I recognize burning coal as fuel is harmful for our environment and not sustainable”. However moments in recent history demonstrate that this is an empty statement made to convince people concerned about our planet he is on their side. His actions, his words, his money show far more of Rick's true feelings on this subject than any single post can cover for.
In 2016, Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc. contributed once for a total of $1,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰)
TransCanada to buy Columbia Pipeline Group for $10.2 billion
“TransCanada Corp, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, said on Thursday it will buy Columbia Pipeline Group for $10.2 billion, creating one of North America's largest regulated natural gas transmission businesses.” — Reuters: March 17, 2016
In 2011, Xcel Energy contributed once for a total of $1,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰)
Boulder's plan to condemn Xcel assets, form municipal utility faces new setback
“Boulder and Xcel Energy have been working to resolve issues related to municipalization and condemnation, and utility officials say they will continue to work with the city. In May, the parties opted to settle a five-year-old lawsuit regarding the city's formation of an electric utility, which Xcel said was premature.
Boulder undertook its muni quest in part to develop more renewable resources. Xcel says it is now working on a plan to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. Aguayo said that ‘aligns with Boulder's clean energy priorities, and we look forward to working with them, as we do all Colorado communities, to achieve their energy goals.’” — Utility Dive: September 6, 2019
In 2019, Entergy Corporation contributed once for a total of $1,500 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💵)
Judge: Entergy Overcharged Customers
“Judge John Dring wrote in a Dec. 9 opinion that Entergy Corp. sold its low-cost power to third parties rather than selling the cheap power to company affiliates like Entergy Mississippi, in violation of the company's agreement with multiple states.
‘A judge has now found, by compelling evidence, that Entergy has overcharged ratepayers by selling them its most expensive electricity. This is one of the company's methods of cheating ratepayers as stated in our lawsuit,’ [Mississippi Attorney General Jim] Hood said in a statement. ‘The law is crystal clear that they must provide ratepayers with the cheapest electricity.’” — Jackson Free Press: December 14, 2010
In 2019, Exxon Mobil contributed once for a total of $1,500 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💵)
Exxon Knew about Climate Change almost 40 years ago
“Exxon was aware of climate change, as early as 1977, 11 years before it became a public issue, according to a recent investigation from InsideClimate News. This knowledge did not prevent the company (now ExxonMobil and the world’s largest oil and gas company) from spending decades refusing to publicly acknowledge climate change and even promoting climate misinformation—an approach many have likened to the lies spread by the tobacco industry regarding the health risks of smoking. Both industries were conscious that their products wouldn’t stay profitable once the world understood the risks, so much so that they used the same consultants to develop strategies on how to communicate with the public.” — Scientific American: October 26, 2015
Between 2008 and 2010, Avista contributed twice for a total of $1,500 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💵)
Washington attorney general, regulators demand Avista refund customers more than $41 million
“Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is demanding that Avista refund customers $41 million for overcharging them from 2016 to 2018.
In written testimony filed Friday with the state Utilities and Transportation Commission, Ferguson argued that Avista should refund customers for overcharges between January 2016 and April 2018.” — The Spokesman-Review: September 13, 2019
Avista to pay $2.1 million settlement
“Avista Corp. will pay $2.1 million of a $25 million settlement reached recently in a Montana District Court case involving alleged damage to buildings from a leaking reservoir and contamination of groundwater caused by waste-slurry reservoirs at the coal-fired Colstrip, Mont., power plant.” — Spokane Journal of Business: May 15, 2008
In 2014, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers contributed once for a total of $2,500 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💵)
U.S. Supreme Court Dismisses Oil Industry Lawsuit Challenging Oregon's Clean Fuels Standard
“The lawsuit filed four years ago by the American Fuels and Petrochemical Manufacturers, the American Trucking Association and Consumer Energy Alliance argued that the legislation gave Oregon unconstitutional authority to regulate out-of-state commerce.
In September, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion dismissing the case. Today, Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court tossed the suit.
Between 2014 and 2015, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America contributed twice for a total of $2,500 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💵)
Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips Settle 'Hot Fuel' Class Action
“‘The basic allegation is that marketers should have offered temperature compensation at the pump when they couldn't legally do it. This case has never been about consumers, but about a group of lawyers trying to get a fat settlement down the line,’ Dan Gilligan, president of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA), told CSP Daily News.
At a later date, however, the settlement could become more costly for marketers if automatic temperature compensation (ATC) is approved for U.S. dispensers. California flirted with the concept four years ago, leading Gilbarco to ask regulators to approve an ATC device for its Encore dispenser. Both Gilbarco and the state later backed away from the issue after a sustained campaign by the California Independent Oil Marketers Association.” — CSP Daily News: April 6, 2012
Between 2017 and 2019, TransCanada USA contributed three times for a total of $3,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰)
Builder Of Controversial Keystone XL Pipeline Says It's Moving Forward
”After a decade of protests and political reversals in the U.S., the Canadian company behind the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline says it has made a final decision to build the long-delayed project. Once completed, it would deliver more than 830,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Alberta's oil sands, or ‘tar sands,’ region to the United States.” — NPR: March 31, 2020
Between 2009 and 2017, National Fuel Gas Company contributed three times for a total of $3,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰)
Seneca Resources, National Fuel Gas Company Drilled with Oilfield Worker's FLSA Lawsuit
“An individual formerly employed as a solids control technician by Seneca Resources and National Fuel Gas Company claims in a proposed class and collective action that the oil and natural gas exploration outfits misclassified workers and thusly owe unpaid overtime. Filed in Pennsylvania, the lawsuit claims the plaintiff and similarly situated day-rate workers were never paid rightful time-and-a-half wages as a result of being misclassified by the defendants as independent contractors exempt from overtime.” — ClassAction.org: September 22, 2017
Between 2014 and 2016, Shell Oil Company contributed twice for a total of $3,500 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💵)
Shell Knew Fossil Fuels Created Climate Change Risks Back in 1980s, Internal Documents Show
“Internal company documents uncovered by a Dutch news organization show that the oil giant Shell had a deep understanding, dating at least to the 1980s, of the science and risks of global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions.
They show that as the company pondered its responsibility to act, Shell's scientists urged it to heed the early warnings, even if, as they said, it might take until the 2000s for the mounting evidence to prove greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were causing unnatural climate change.” — InsideClimate News: April 5, 2018
Between 2014 and 2018, Chesapeake Energy Corporation contributed four times for a total of $4,500 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💵)
$6.95M Settlement Proposed in Lawsuit Against Oklahoma's Chesapeake Energy
“A proposed $6.95 million settlement has been filed to end a class-action lawsuit alleging Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy co-founders Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward conspired to rig bids on leases for land to explore for oil and natural gas in northwestern Oklahoma and southwestern Kansas.” — Insurance Journal: September 12, 2018
Between 2003 and 2015, NiSource Inc. contributed four times for a total of $4,500 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💵)
Columbia Gas Reaches $143M Settlement of Class Action Lawsuits
“NiSource's Columbia Gas unit says it has settled all class action lawsuits related to damages in last year's fatal explosions in three Massachusetts communities for $143M.
The explosions and fires, which killed one person, injured 21 and damaged 131 buildings, occurred as Columbia Gas was replacing cast-iron pipe with plastic lines, making it the largest U.S. natural gas pipeline accident since 2010 in terms of structures involved.” — Seeking Alpha: July 29, 2019
In 2012, Peabody Energy contributed once for a total of $5,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰)
Peabody Energy Escapes California Global Warming Lawsuits
“Coal producer Peabody Energy Corp. can’t be sued by two Northern California counties and one city for contributing to global warming, according to a Missouri federal court.
San Mateo County, south of San Francisco, and Marin County, to its north, and the City of Imperial Beach failed to assert claims by the deadline imposed in Peabody’s bankruptcy case, and their claims were discharged, or wiped out, by the bankruptcy, Judge Rodney W. Sippel of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri said in his March 29 decision.” — Bloomberg Law: March 29, 2019
Between 2005 and 2011, DTE Energy Company contributed five times for a total of $5,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰)
DTE wants $400K for legal fees after residents lose lawsuit
“Some Oakland County residents complain that the utility giant DTE is acting like a big bully. It's a costly legal battle dating back more than six years.
The residents complained [about excessive diesel truck noise and pollution] to their city councils and the Michigan Public Service Commission. The 14 neighbors filed a lawsuit in 2009 asking the court to order DTE to stop the noise and compensate them.
But in 2013 a judge ruled the noise issue was not substantial enough to justify their lawsuit. And now they say, DTE is asking the group for more than $430,000 to pay its attorney fees.” — https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/dte-wants-400k-for-legal-fees-after-residents-lose-lawsuitFox2 Detroit: October 7, 2015
DTE Energy to refund $27M in customer overcharges
“DTE Energy will pay more than $27 million in refunds to its electric customers this spring after state regulators reduced a 2017 rate hike imposed by the utility, the Michigan Public Service Commission said Thursday.
Also Thursday, the Public Service Commission concluded an investigation into the company's billing practices, officials said.
The commission investigated issues with DTE Energy Co.'s new billing system after customers filed reports of incorrect shutoffs and inaccurate billing statements.
Shortly after beginning its investigation in December 2017, the commission received numerous complaints through its Customer Assistance Division about improper shutoffs and other errors.” — The Detroit News: March 21, 2019
Between 2005 and 2012, El Paso Corporation contributed five times for a total of $5,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰)
30 Major U.S. Corporations Paid More to Lobby Congress Than Income Taxes, 2008-2010
“By employing a plethora of tax-dodging techniques, 30 multi-million dollar American corporations expended more money lobbying Congress than they paid in federal income taxes between 2008 and 2010, ultimately spending approximately $400,000 every day -- including weekends -- during that three-year period to lobby lawmakers and influence political elections, according to a new report from the non-partisan Public Campaign.
El Paso: $4.105 billion in profits; –$41 million in taxes; $2.92 million paid lobbying.” — International Business Times: December 9, 2011
Between 2006 and 2011, Constellation Energy contributed six times for a total of $6,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰💰)
Constellation, Gambrills residents settle fly-ash suit
“group of Anne Arundel County residents whose drinking water was contaminated with coal ash reached a multimillion-dollar settlement yesterday of its class action lawsuit against Constellation Energy Group.
The deal, estimated at $45 million, gives about 600 residents living near a former Gambrills sand and gravel mine financial compensation and environmental remediation.
For 12 years until last fall, Constellation worked with a contractor to dump billions of tons of waste ash from its Brandon Shores coal-fired power plant into an unlined former gravel mine pit. County tests found that 23 wells in the area tested positive for metals such as arsenic, cadmium and thallium, all components of waste ash from smokestacks, also called ‘fly ash.’” — The Baltimore Sun: November 1, 2008
Between 2003 and 2009, PG&E Corporation contributed seven times for a total of $7,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰)
How PG&E Ignored Fire Risks in Favor of Profits
“Beyond wildfires, PG&E has a broader history of safety problems. A 2010 explosion of a PG&E gas pipeline killed eight people and destroyed a suburban neighborhood, prompting state and federal officials to investigate PG&E’s safety practices. Regulators ultimately fined the utility $1.6 billion, and a federal jury convicted it of violating a pipeline safety law and obstructing an investigation. The company is still under court-supervised probation.” — The New York Times: March 18, 2019
Between 2005 and 2015, Dominion Energy contributed eight times for a total of $8,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰)
Comprehensive Exposé of Dominion Energy's History of Clean Enetgy Obstruction in Virginia
“The report, ‘Dominion Energy’s Power Grab,’ outlines the company’s long-standing lobbying muscle in Richmond, its ploy to slowly replace coal with another dirty fossil fuel, natural gas, at the expense of a healthy environmental future as Dominion’s climate emissions are trending upwards.” — Food & Water Watch: November 15, 2018
Between 2004 and 2017, BP Corporation contributed eleven times for a total of $13,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰)
The worst part about BP's oil-spill cover-up: It worked
“‘It’s as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid.’ That’s what Jamie Griffin says the BP man told her about the smelly, rainbow-streaked gunk coating the floor of the ‘floating hotel’ where Griffin was feeding hundreds of cleanup workers during the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently, the workers were tracking the gunk inside on their boots. Griffin, as chief cook and maid, was trying to clean it. But even boiling water didn’t work.
‘The BP representative said, ‘Jamie, just mop it like you’d mop any other dirty floor,’’ Griffin recalls in her Louisiana drawl.
Within days, the 32-year-old single mother was coughing up blood and suffering constant headaches. She lost her voice. ‘My throat felt like I’d swallowed razor blades,’ she says.
Then things got much worse.
Like hundreds, possibly thousands, of workers on the cleanup, Griffin soon fell ill with a cluster of excruciating, bizarre, grotesque ailments.” — Grist: April 22, 2013
Between 2005 and 2015, Spectra Energy contributed twelve times for a total of $13,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰)
Spectra Energy to open controversial pipelines in weeks; testing begins Monday
“After years of heated opposition, Spectra Energy is set to begin running high-pressure natural gas through its controversial Hudson County pipeline by Nov. 1, with a testing phase involving nitrogen to begin Monday.
Jersey City officials have led the charge against the $857 million project, saying it will put the city’s residents at risk and threaten future development along the pipeline’s route, which winds through Bayonne, Jersey City and offshore Hoboken before heading into Manhattan.” — NJ.com: October 5, 2013
Between 2010 and 2019, the Association of Oil Pipelines contributed eleven times for a total of $15,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰)
Pipeline Spill Adds to Concerns About Dakota Access Pipeline
“[T]he same company that owns and runs the pipeline was involved in another oil spill in Montana in 2015 that leaked 30,000 gallons of crude into the river. At one point, tests showed traces of oil in the local drinking water.
Still, generally these incidents are low probability, high impact events, and John Stoody with the Association of Oil Pipelines says they remain the most efficient way to go.
‘They're also the safest way to move crude oil and petroleum around,’ he says.
The data to back up that claim are kind of tricky to pin down.” — NPR: December 15, 2016
Between 2007 and 2017, Enbridge Inc. contributed thirteen times for a total of $16,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰)
Pipeline Footage Sparks New Concerns: Read up on updates and history of Enbridge’s Line 5
“Enbridge’s Line 5 has been a major issue of concern for both Michigan’s previous administration as well as the current one, with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel releasing a statement on April 29 declaring that she would ‘use every resource available to our office to shut down Line 5 to protect our Great Lakes.‘“ — Great Lakes Now: May 15, 2019
Between 2003 and 2017, the Interstate National Gas Association of America contributed eighteen times for a total of $19,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰)
Contributors to this PAC
“Dominion Energy: $10,000; DTE Energy; $10,000; National Fuel Gas Company: $6,000; Enbridge Inc.: $5,000; TransCanada USA: $5,000; Southern Company Gas: $5,000; PG&E Corporation: $5,000” — OpenSecrets.org: April 21, 2020
Between 2003 and 2019, Williams Companies Inc. contributed twenty-seven times for a total of $34,500 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💵)
New York Rejects Keystone-Like Pipeline in Fierce Battle Over the State's Energy Future
“[E]nvironmental groups said Williams was manufacturing a crisis to justify a project that would rip apart fragile ecosystems, handcuff New York to fossil fuels and hobble the state’s march toward renewable resources.” — The New York Times: May 15, 2019
Between 2000 and 2018, Tesoro Petroleum (now Andeavor) has contributed eighteen times for a total of $41,000 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰)
Oil Terminal Faces More Controversy Following Export Legalization
“The port signed a lease in 2013 with Tesoro and Savage Co. for the development of an oil-by-rail terminal on 40 acres on the Columbia River. Its environmental impact assessment suggests the arrival of four to five hundred rail cars of crude (about 360,000 barrels) every day, and its lease with the port permits expansion if that capacity is exceeded.
Its opponents, including environmental watchdog Columbia Riverkeeper and local business association Vancouver 101, have asked the state's governor to deny permission to build and the Port of Vancouver to cancel Tesoro's lease agreement. They cite the risk of derailment, fires and spills, invoking the image of the Lac Megantic rail accident in Quebec, which killed nearly fifty and destroyed half the town's center.
Larger opponents have also weighed in. The City of Portland has passed a resloution opposing the project. The International Longshore Worker's Union (ILWU) recently backed the election of a new port commissioner, Eric LaBrant, who ran in large part to fight the terminal. LaBrant, who outraised his opponent by a factor of four and won with 5,000 votes, will be sworn in December 28.” — The Maritime Executive: May 16, 2020
Between 2003 and 2019, Puget Sound Energy contributed fifty-one times for a total of $68,921 to Citizens to Elect Rick Larsen. (💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰💰)
A ‘monstrosity’ or a step forward? Puyallup Tribe, PSE in showdown over Tacoma natural-gas plant
“Opponents have taken up a battle cry of ‘No LNG in the Salish Sea,’ and have turned out to show PSE just how contentious building a new fossil-fuel project in the region can be.
Climate activists and self-described Water Warriors have rappelled off construction cranes, chained themselves to plant gates and erected a tent city on the state capitol grounds. They’ve marched. They’ve erected a longhouse in front of the company’s Bellevue headquarters. Every night, they project the words “No permit No Construction” on the side of the tank, a dig at PSE for proceeding with construction without a pre-construction emissions permit.
The Puyallup Tribe, an economic and political powerhouse on the waterfront and a major employer in the area, is at the center of the LNG fight and has the support of allied tribes all over the Northwest and even the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, recalling the Puyallups’ support in its fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline.” — The Seattle Times: April 9, 2018
Can we trust Rick Larsen to fight for a habitable planet?
Can we trust him to take on the fossil fuel industry responsible for the climate crisis—while taking tens of thousands of dollars from them?
Can we trust him to take on Big Oil that seeks line the pockets of their shareholders with the profits made from destroying our planet and sickening millions—while taking tens of thousands of dollars from them?
Can we trust him to take on the networks of fossil fuel trade groups who peddle PR for fossil fuel giants, spinning news, and casting doubt on their liability—while taking tens of thousands of dollars from them?