I wonder to what extent the corporate impact on public policy is currently being taken into account in mainstream STS (Science, technology, and society) studies. Is attention being paid to the role of lobbying and advertising in driving innovation or is corporate influence often abstracted out of the picture?
Energy companies have been pouring millions of dollars into television advertising, lobbying and campaign contributions as the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo enters the final phase of deciding when and where to allow a controversial form of natural gas extraction that is hotly opposed by environmental groups…
The lobbying push in New York follows similar efforts by the energy industry to influence lawmakers and regulators in Washington and in other parts of the country that are rich in shale formations. Several other states, including Texas, Pennsylvania and Ohio, have also seen millions of dollars in spending in recent years by drilling companies on lobbying, campaign contributions or both.
Much is at stake as the Cuomo administration seeks to develop hydrofracking regulations: proponents say the industry could create jobs and spending in some of the most economically struggling parts of the state, especially its Southern Tier, while environmentalists warn of risks to water quality and damage to roads. And industry estimates suggest that allowing hydrofracking in New York State could generate billions in new revenues for energy companies.
“What we are seeing is the concerted application of really a substantial amount of money to try to move public policy into a pro-fracking stance,” said Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, which has raised concerns about the environmental impact of hydrofracking. “It is a tremendous amount of pressure on our state government.”