Election Update: We’ve More than Doubled Congress’s No Fossil Fuel Money Caucus
A few weeks out from the 2018 midterm elections, most of the remaining close races have now been officially called for one candidate or the other. Because of that, we can now tally the full extent of the No Fossil Fuel Money caucus in the new Congress, which will take office in early January 2019.
We’re proud to report that the number of Congressmembers who have taken the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge has more than doubled to
35 36 members, and that nearly a third of newly elected Democrats who flipped U.S. House seats from Republican to Democratic control have taken the pledge.
Heading into the 2018 midterms, there were 15 incumbent U.S. House members and 2 incumbent U.S. Senators who had taken the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge to reject donations from the oil, gas, and coal industries, and instead prioritize the health of families, the climate, and democracy.
Three of the House members declined to seek reelection to the House, instead running in other races. Tim Walz (from MN-01) ran successfully to be the Governor of Minnesota, Keith Ellison (from MN-05) ran successfully to be the Attorney General of Minnesota, and Beto O’Rourke (from TX-16) ran and lost a narrow race for the U.S. Senate seat from Texas.
The other 12 incumbent U.S. House members and two incumbent U.S. Senators all ran for reelection, and all 14 were reelected:
- Ruben Gallego – U.S. House, AZ-07
- Barbara Lee – U.S. House, CA-13
- Ro Khanna – U.S. House, CA-17
- Zoe Lofgren – U.S. House, CA-19
- Nanette Barragán – U.S. House, CA-44
- Darren Soto – U.S. House, FL-09
- Tulsi Gabbard – U.S. House, HI-02
- Jan Schakowsky – U.S. House, IL-09
- Jamie Raskin – U.S. House, MD-08
- Chellie Pingree – U.S. House, ME-01
- Pramila Jayapal – U.S. House, WA-07
- Adam Smith – U.S. House, WA-09
- Dianne Feinstein – U.S. Senate, CA
- Bernie Sanders – U.S. Senate, VT
Incumbent Rep. Dwight Evans (currently from PA-02; will be PA-03 starting in January) signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge last week, joining several other members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation.
Joining these incumbents in Congress in January will be 21 newly elected members of the U.S. House. This means the number of sitting Congressmembers who’ve pledged to reject fossil fuel industry money will more than double, from 17 members to a whopping
35 36 members.
No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge signers didn’t just win in solidly blue seats. They won in all kinds of seats, in 17 different states in every corner of the nation, from downtown Seattle to rural Virginia and many places in between. And of the likely
39 40 newly elected Democrats who flipped seats from Republican control to Democratic control, 12 were signers of the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge.
The full list of victories this month includes two victories by pledge signers from Pennsylvania in special elections – so they’ll take office immediately to fill the remainder of the current Congressional term. Here’s the full list of newly elected pledge signers:
- Katie Hill – U.S. House, CA-25 (flipped R to D)
- Gil Cisneros – U.S. House, CA-39 (flipped R to D)
- Katie Porter – U.S. House, CA-45 (flipped R to D)
- Harley Rouda – U.S. House, CA-48 (flipped R to D)
- Mike Levin – U.S. House, CA-49 (flipped R to D)
- Debbie Mucarsel-Powell – U.S. House, FL-26 (flipped R to D)
- Jesús “Chuy” García – U.S. House, IL-04
- Ayanna Pressley – U.S. House, MA-07
- Andy Levin – U.S. House, MI-09
- Rashida Tlaib – U.S. House, MI-13
- Dean Phillips – U.S. House, MN-03 (flipped R to D)
- Ilhan Omar – U.S. House, MN-05
- Chris Pappas – U.S. House, NH-01
- Deb Haaland – U.S. House, NM-01
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – U.S. House, NY-14
- Madeleine Dean – U.S. House, PA-04
- Mary Gay Scanlon – U.S. House, PA-05 (flipped R to D)
- Mary Gay Scanlon – U.S. House, PA-07 (special election for remainder of term; old seat)
- Susan Ellis Wild – U.S. House, PA-07 (flipped R to D)
- Susan Ellis Wild – U.S. House, PA-15 (special election for remainder of term; old seat)
- Elaine Luria – U.S. House, VA-02 (flipped R to D)
- Jennifer Wexton – U.S. House, VA-10 (flipped R to D)
- Kim Schrier – U.S. House, WA-08 (flipped R to D)
As successful as the midterm elections were, it’s clear that much work remains to be done. More than doubling the number of No Fossil Fuel Money pledge signers in Congress is great, but it’s still not a big enough percentage of the Democratic Party to expect the meaningful climate action we desperately need, untainted by industry influence. That said, it’s a crucial start. Activists and politicians alike are extremely excited about continuing to showcase real climate leadership, and about taking the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge as a key indicator to show that you’re on the side of people, not Big Oil, Big Gas, and Big Coal.
UPDATE: This post has been updated to reflect Rep. Dwight Evans’ signing of the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge last week, and to reflect the fact that Democrats have now likely flipped 40 seats from GOP to Democratic control, rather than 39.
The No Fossil Fuel Money coalition has been active over the last year and has gotten more than 1,300 candidates nationwide to sign the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge to refuse contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industry and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits. The coalition consists of Oil Change USA, Sunrise Movement, Climate Hawks Vote, 350 Action, Friends of the Earth Action, Greenpeace USA, and many others national and state partners working to end the fossil fuel industry’s influence on our politics.