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Mike Lawler Chooses Big Oil and Gas Over the Hudson Valley

From slowing the energy transition to lobbying for the fossil fuel industry, Mike Lawler proves he doesn’t work for his constituents. We need to vote him out.

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In 2024, our planet is once again on the line. It’s imperative that we elect allies to Congress who defend our climate and our communities. However, many lawmakers are willing to throw us under the bus for dirty campaign cash. That’s why Food & Water Action follows the money, calls out shady dealings, and works to defeat candidates who put profit over people.

Take current Rep. Mike Lawler, who is supposed to be representing New York’s Hudson Valley. Instead, his voting record, past employment, and campaign contributions make clear he actually represents the oil and gas industry.

Mike Lawler Votes Big for Big Oil and Gas

As a Congressmember, Lawler has done nothing to stave off the effects of climate change or protect the environment. One of his first votes was in favor of H.R. 1. This bill would expand drilling and fracking on public lands and waters, cut environmental protections, increase fossil fuel exports, and undercut renewable energy growth. 

Lawler has also signed on as a cosponsor of the Energy Choice Act, which would block states from transitioning off of fossil fuels, as well as several bills that would block transitioning away from using fossil fuels in home heating.

His most consequential — and shameful — decision as a Congressmember was voting to make Rep. Mike Johnson Speaker of the House. Johnson is a climate denier who worked to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Lawler’s dismal climate record dates back to his time as a New York Assemblymember. At that time, he overestimated the importance of natural gas for fueling New York’s homes. And, he even presented fracked gas as a climate solution (in fact, the industry is making matters worse).

Lawler Works for the Fossil Fuel Industry, Not New Yorkers

Mike Lawler doesn’t do all this for free. He’s backed by the deep pockets of Big Oil and Gas. During his time as a state legislator, Lawler worked as a fossil fuel lobbyist (which he disclosed here).

He made thousands of dollars running the oil industry front group New Yorkers for Affordable Energy. This group fought against New York’s landmark climate law, pushed to build new gas pipelines around New York, and tried to keep New York’s buildings hooked on fossil fuels by blocking the All Electric Buildings Act.

Mike Lawler was literally on the oil industry’s payroll as one of their lobbyists, but he has also been bought and paid for as a member of Congress. Since the beginning of 2023, Lawler has accepted over $51,000 from the oil and gas industry

He took thousands from the corporate PAC for Phillips 66, Exxon, Chevron, and Marathon Petroleum. He’s also taken money from the president of the American Petroleum Institute.

Moreover, some of his largest contributors were the Kemmerer coal magnate family ($26,400) and fossil fuel pipeline king Kelcy Warren, of Energy Transfer, and Warren’s wife ($13,200). These are the voices Rep. Lawler is listening to when he casts his votes in the Capitol.

While Lawler’s busy doing the fossil fuel industry’s bidding, he’s cutting back on the arduous work of serving his constituents. Lawler had a policy of banning the media from his town hall events. (He only recently reversed the practice after pushback.)  

We Can Defeat Corporate Cronies in 2024

Unfortunately, Lawler isn’t an outlier in Congress. Our legislature has many lawmakers who would rather take industry cash than look after the people who elected them. In 2024, many of these corporate cronies will be on the ballot. And we’re doing everything in our power to boot them out. 

Throughout this year, Food & Water Action is working to unseat legislators like Lawler and get allies in office. Allies who are willing to address the real root of issues like energy unaffordability and our climate emergency, and won’t shill for the industry that’s worsening these problems for New Yorkers. With your help, we’re mobilizing with volunteers across the state to fight for the candidates they need and deserve. 

Your support helps us fight for the leaders who serve New York, not Big Oil!