A new study is providing more evidence for the long-held belief that campaign contributions influence the decisions of lawmakers.
Researchers from Yale University and the University of Cambridge found that the oil and gas industry rewards U.S. lawmakers with campaign donations when they oppose environmental protections.
The team of researchers found that there was a correlation between an increase in anti-environment votes and an increase in the number of contributions.
“Legislators proved that they’re willing to vote against the environment consistently and then they’re rewarded later,” co-author Matthew Goldberg told the Guardian. “I suppose this is more of an advantage for oil and gas companies because they need to ensure that people are going to vote in their interest.”
The study analyzed data from 1990 to 2018 and found that a majority of the contributions went to conservative politicians.
In 1990, 63% of all oil and gas industry contributions went to Republicans. In 2018, that number climbed to 88%.
You can read the study here.