Fossil fuel and other corporate trade groups paid public relations and advertising firms at least $1.4 billion from 2008 to 2017 to help them win over the American public, reports the HuffPost, which added that “the total is drawn from new data that the nonprofit Climate Investigations Center compiled, which build on a 2015 Center for Public Integrity investigation that found trade associations spent nearly twice as much on PR and advertising as they did on lobbying and legal services.

“The data provide a “tiny peephole into the massive influence-peddling industry that hovers over Washington, D.C., and indeed the whole country,” Kert Davies, director of the Climate Investigations Center, told HuffPost.

““And the oil industry,” he said via email, “leads the pack by a mile.”

“While corporate lobbying gets a lot of attention, it is on these other influence services that business and energy trade groups often spend the big bucks.

“Annual tax filings compiled by CIC show that the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association of the oil and natural gas industry that has worked for decades to sow doubt about the realities of climate change, spent an astonishing $663 million on PR and advertising, about 48 percent of the total, over the 10-year period. The figure dwarfs the combined $98.4 million that renewable energy trade groups, including the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industry Association, spent during the same period.

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ― the corporate lobby that has aggressively fought regulations to address climate change ― spent $244 million, the second most of any energy or trade group. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity came in at No. 3, spending $121.7 million.”

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