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10.1.20

Senator Tillis Prioritizes Oil And Gas Donors, Corporate Polluters Over The Environment

Senator Tillis has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate polluters and done their bidding in Washington, including refusing to protect our clean water and working to open up our coast line to offshore drilling, only reversing himself six weeks before the election.

Senator Tillis blocked an effort to hold corporate polluters accountable, even as they threaten our clean water:

  • Tillis voted down an amendment to the NDAA that would give the Department of Defense more leeway on how to use funds to clean up areas contaminated by PFAS. [Policy Watch, 7/13/20]

Senator Tillis previously sold out North Carolina’s coastal communities, giving his support to opening up our coast to offshore drilling over the objection of more than 200 businesses and 30 coastal communities, and only reversed himself six weeks before the election in attempt to greenwash his record:

  • Senator Tillis’ maiden speech in the U.S. Senate was to argue for offshore drilling off the coast of North Carolina. [News & Observer, 1/22/15]
  • Tillis confirmed he and the Trump administration are “in the same place” on offshore drilling after the administration proposed opening up North Carolina’s coasts. [Roll Call, 3/28/19]
  • Tillis voted to confirm ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior Secretary. [The Hill, 2/4/19]

Clean water advocates didn’t by Senator Tillis’ attempt to greenwash his record:

  • One clean water advocate “attributed the moratorium to the election being six weeks away and said ‘a certain senator and president are feeling the heat.’” [AP, 9/22/20]
  • Another clean water advocate said the timing of Tillis’s announcement is “terribly convenient” and said of Tillis, “He’s never supported our cause” [News & Observer, 9/22/20]

In 2014, Senator Tillis denied that climate change was a fact:

  • BOYUM: “Is climate change a fact?” […] BOYUM: “Mr. Tillis.” TILLIS: “No.” [BuzzFeed, 4/22/14]

Senator Tillis has continued to look out for his big oil donors even in the midst of a pandemic:

  • When oil prices dropped, Tillis wrote a letter to the administration urging there be no “oil and gas bias” when distributing economic relief funds. After a White House summit with the industry on April 3, Tillis received over $60,000 in corporate PAC checks from companies that had attended the summit. [Daily Beast, 6/13/20]

North Carolina has seen the effects of climate change firsthand through the historic storms and flooding but Senator Tillis continues to back his oil and gas donors at the expense of North Carolina’s environment and coastal cities. It’s no wonder he’s “perhaps best known for getting lots of money from big pharma, big oil, big banks and payday lenders, and for pushing their preferred policies.