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August 28, 2012

Republican Convention Day 1: Big Polluters Take the Stage

The Republican National Convention offers many of the country's most powerful lobbyists from the oil and coal industry the opportunity to mix and mingle with the politicians their massive campaign contributions have been supporting for so long -- and that's just ON the stage at the Convention.

As Tampa prepares for the coronation of Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee, the speaking schedule for the first full day of the Convention is packed with candidates and elected officials who haven't just been taking their lead from big polluters -- they've also taken their talking points. In fact, convention organizers are even letting some of the biggest polluters step up to the microphone themselves. 

One night only (1)

While Big Oil is throwing a lavish private party to celebrate Romney on Thursday, big polluters won't have to wait until then to visit the candidates they've invested in. Here's a quick run-down of who's who from the dirty energy world on stage tonight:

It's not the first time big polluters have been given high-profile roles in the effort to elect Mitt Romney. Romney named an oil executive as his chief energy adviser and had a Shell Oil board member debate for him at a recent energy issue forum. Last week, Romney raked in nearly $10 million at fundraisers with dirty energy executives in Texas. Then, two days after asking for their "input" on his own energy plan, he released policy proposals that read like they were copied directly from the big polluter playbook: throwing open public lands to more drilling and mining, gutting the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to protect our air and water, and keeping in place the billions in tax subsidies oil companies enjoys every year.

Romney made his dirty energy priorities crystal clear when he released his energy plan. Now, his Republican National Convention seems set on celebrating them, no matter the cost to everyone else. 

The Sierra Club Voter Education Fund seeks to educate voters about issues important to our members by responding to statements and positions made in an electoral context, with the goal to encourage the public to find out more about the candidates and their positions on these issues. 

-- Trey Pollard, Sierra Club Deputy Press Secretary

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