Liberals Want Lawmakers to Give Up Donations From 'Big Oil'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - Tapping into Americans' frustration with rising gasoline prices, a liberal advocacy group is launching a campaign for an "Oil-Free Congress."'s political action committee said it will ask every member of Congress to sign a pledge refusing to accept campaign contributions from oil companies.

"We'll pressure members of Congress to make a real difference -- and if they don't listen, we'll hold them accountable in November," the group said in an email message to supporters.

"Official pledge cards" went out to all members of Congress last week, the group said.

"With gas prices off the charts, an unstable situation in the Middle East and scientists warning that global warming is at a tipping point, it's fair to wonder, why aren't our representatives doing something about our dependence on oil? The answer is that politicians get a lot of money from oil companies not to," PAC said.

The group said "Big Oil" has given more than $190 million in campaign contributions to U.S. lawmakers since 1990 - and 75 percent of it went to Republicans.

"These donations guarantee an energy policy that serves the oil industry over the public interest," PAC said. "Until our representatives stop taking oil money, it's going to be hard to make progress on global warming and clean energy alternatives."

The group say the best way to achieve energy independence is to "end oil corruption" in Washington.'s political action committee says having lawmakers sign an "oil-free" pledge is just the first step. It also plans to work on a "creative advertising campaign" to publicize its efforts; and it is planning a "national day of action" on June 28 - where activists will spread the "oil-free" message with rallies at gas stations across the country.

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