As dire climate change projections mount, one in four members of Congress is invested in oil, gas, or coal interests.
Climate scientists predict climate change will have catastrophic effects in the coming decades if drastic action to reverse it is not taken immediately. Some members of Congress, including Green New Deal resolution sponsors Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), are gravely concerned about the mounting threat, but overall, Congress has not met the crisis with the urgency that scientists say is necessary to avoid global tragedy.
Emblematic of federal lawmakers’ lack of urgency are their substantial financial investments in the biggest drivers of climate change: fossil fuel companies.
As of Dec. 13, 2019, 134 members of Congress and their spouses own as much as $92.7 million worth of stock in fossil fuel companies and mutual funds, according to an analysis of financial disclosures by Sludge. House members own between roughly $29.5 million and $78.2 million in fossil fuel stocks, while senators have between $3.8 million and $14.5 million invested in oil, gas, and coal interests. Members of Congress generally report the value of their investments in broad ranges, so it’s not possible to know exactly how much their stocks are worth.