In the first quarter of 2010, Newt Gingrich's political committee received $350,000 in donations from a major coal producing company and a major oil and gas drilling company. During the same period, Gingrich repeatedly used his Fox News platform to attack Democratic proposals to implement a cap-and trade system or otherwise price carbon without disclosing those donations.
Gingrich political committee takes $350,000 in Q1 from coal, oil giants
In Q1, American Solutions receives $250,000 from Devon Energy, $100,000 from Arch Coal. Gingrich is General Chairman of the 527 organization American Solutions for Winning the Future. As Politico noted, according to the group's Internal Revenue Service filings, American Solutions received a $250,000 donation from Devon Energy Corporation on January 7, and a $100,000 donation from Arch Coal on March 30.
Arch Coal is “the nation's second largest coal producer.” According to its website, “Arch Coal is the nation's second largest coal producer” and “supplies the fuel for approximately 8 percent of the electricity generated in the United States.” Arch states they “have a leading position in all three major low-sulfur coal basins, with mining complexes in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia.”
Devon Energy “a leading independent natural gas and oil exploration and production company. According to their website, “Devon Energy Corporation is a leading independent natural gas and oil exploration and production company. Devon's operations are focused onshore in the United States and Canada. We also own natural gas pipelines and treatment facilities in many of our producing areas, making us one of North America's larger processors of natural gas liquids.”
Without disclosing donations, Gingrich uses Fox platform to attack cap and trade, carbon pricing
Gingrich attacks cap and trade as “a giant energy tax.” On the April 12 edition of On the Record, Gingrich said that Democrats are “going to come back, I think, and try to pass cap-and- trade, even though it's a gigantic energy tax and weakens America in energy production.”
Gingrich: Democrats' energy policy will “cripple our industry.” On the April 6 edition of Hannity, Gingrich criticized Democrats for "[t]he fact they are determined to cripple our industry at a time when virtually every American realizes that having national security and energy, keeping the money here at home, creating less expensive energy here is vital to our economic future."
Gingrich: Democrats “want the the Environmental Protection Agency to run the economy in terms of energy.” On the February 22 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, referring to the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to declare carbon dioxide a health hazard and move toward regulating it, Gingrich said that the Obama administration wants “the Environmental Protection Agency to run the economy in terms of energy." He later added that “what they want to do with the Environmental Protection Agency certainly extends vastly beyond how the government is spending its money. They're talking about intervening on what kind of light bulbs you use, what kind of house you build, whether you have to retrofit your house.”
Gingrich: Democrats pushing “left-wing things” like “giant energy tax.” On the January 25 edition of On the Record, Gingrich criticized Democrats for attempting to “pass left-wing things like giant energy tax, which is bottled up in the Senate"
Fox let Gingrich take money from insurers, slam policies they oppose
Gingrich reportedly profits from center that receives money from insurance groups. Gingrich's Center for Health Transformation receives tiered annual membership fees -- providing varying degrees of "[a]ccess to Newt Gingrich on your company's strategy" - from a group of companies that includes several major insurance providers. Gingrich has reportedly profited from his work with the center.
Gingrich on Fox: Reform “permanently puts power in Washington,” involves “Washington bureaucrats deciding whether or not to ration your health care.” Gingrich repeatedly appeared on Fox News' Hannity to declare his opposition to Democratic health reform proposals without disclosing his conflict of interest. For example, on August 6, 2009, Gingrich said Democrats in the House “clearly want a big-government, Washington-centered, control-over-your-life model that would, over the next 10 or 12 years, eliminate the health system as we've known it and move us to a government plan.” On July 16, 2009, he asserted that Obama's proposals “could be one of the things which both permanently puts power in Washington, takes control over your life and gives it to a bureaucrat who can ration what kind of care you get and so weakens the economy with massive taxes that we don't get any kind of real economic growth for the rest of this decade into, say, 2020.” On June 10, 2009, Gingrich claimed that this “is a big-spending, big-government, big-politician, big-bureaucracy administration. I am deeply opposed to Washington bureaucrats deciding whether or not to ration your health care or the health care of your loved ones. And I think that it's a fundamental choice for America. Do you really want to have your future and your life and your health in the hands of the Washington bureaucracy?” [Hannity, 8/6/09, 7/16/09, 6/10/09, from Nexis]
Gingrich's group one of numerous political committees run by Fox hosts and contributors
As Media Matters for America has documented, in addition to Gingrich, Fox News' Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Karl Rove, Dick Morris, Sean Hannity, and Rick Santorum have raised money for Republican candidates and causes using or on behalf of political action committees, 527 or 501(c)4 organizations.