Why The Pledge Matters

To ensure a healthier future, we need a healthy democracy where our elected officials are free from the destructive fossil fuel industry’s dirty money.
Every election, oil, gas, and coal companies pour millions of dollars into electing climate-denying candidates who go on to give fossil fuel companies kickbacks that maximize company profits and pollute our communities without consequences. The 2020 election saw over $350 million in fossil fuel campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures, and that number is only climbing as pressure to end the era of fossil fuels ramps up and Big Oil gets desperate. Despite the vast majority of Americans wanting action on climate change, this unchecked fossil fuel money flowing into our elections blocks necessary climate policies from passing.
The bottom line: Fossil fuel money in politics is bad for us, bad for the planet, bad for those in frontline communities, and bad for our democracy.
We’ve had enough. We demand our elected officials listen to our needs and care about our futures. In recent years, thousands of candidates and elected officials have taken the No Fossil Fuel Pledge and gone on to win their races. These elected leaders have passed bold and historic climate laws in Congress and states across the country — but more is needed. Continuing to build on this progress will help turn the tides to create a livable future for all.
Through this No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge website and action tool, we are strengthening our democracy by equipping voters with information they need to vote for leaders that match their values. Together, we can elect responsible leaders who want to build a better future for our communities and our children rather than advance fossil fuel profits.


When candidates take money from corporate interests, such companies often have leverage over them to pass laws favorable to their profits, not the well-being of people.

Oil, gas, and coal companies have proven they are not concerned with protecting our health or ensuring a livable future. In fact, the oil and gas industry spent more than $124 million lobbying Congress in 2022. The corrupting relationship between political candidates and fossil fuel companies has stalled climate progress for decades. For example, fossil fuel money helped defeat crucial 2018 climate propositions in Washington State and across several other states that would have expanded investments in cleaner air, safer drinking water, and responsible land use.

When candidates disavow money from the fossil fuel industry, they become more accountable to us, the people, and can help advance policies aimed at ensuring a healthier future for everyone.

Candidates running for office care what their constituents think because they need our votes to win. So when we send them an email, share on social media about who’s contributing to their campaigns, or ask them challenging questions – especially done collectively with others – they pay attention. 

By sharing this website with others, we can all be better informed at the ballot box to know which candidates are looking out for our future. 

Also, since candidates are required to disclose campaign contributions, this information is publicly available. The Pledge team and our partner organizations can track the money candidates collect and hold anyone accountable who is not living up to their promise to reject dirty fossil fuel money.

Absolutely. In recent years, there have been increasing numbers of candidates running for office, especially in down-ballot races on the state and local level, that are prepared to refuse fossil fuel money and work towards building a more sustainable and healthy climate future. Efforts like this pledge help give a platform to candidates whothat are accountable to the rising tide of constituents demanding action on climate solutions.

Regardless of your zip code, every vote and every political action matters. The oil, gas, and coal industries may have money, but it is the voices of voters who elect our leaders. When we take collective and mass action together with our family, friends, and neighbors we can truly make a change.

Once you have looked up your candidates and taken action – make sure to use the easy buttons to share the tool with others to multiply your influence alongside your community.

It’s often candidates with the most grassroots support and energy that wins, rather than the one with the most money.

Thousands of candidates and elected officials in all corners of the country and at all levels of government have already taken the No Fossil Fuel Pledge and gone on to win their races in recent years. This includes leaders like New York’s Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts’ Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Walz and Virginia’s Rep. Jennifer Wexton.

Climate leadership means saying NO to the fossil fuel industry and its money and taking the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge is a core part of that commitment.

Candidates running for office are required by law to disclose contributions to their campaign. This transparency allows the Pledge team and our partner organizations to hold anyone accountable who are not living up to their promise to reject dirty fossil fuel money. We will ask their campaign to return the money or consider escalating to more public accountability if they refuse.

After taking action and sending pressure and thank you emails, don’t forget to share this website with others to multiply your influence with the actions of others.

The more candidates we have taking the pledge and the more voters urging their candidates to take it, the more we reclaim our power in this democracy for a more representative government and a healthier future.

Learn more from our organizing toolkit that’s chock full of resources and ideas to organize a group in your community to put pressure in local candidates in your area to sign the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge

Our campaign contribution numbers come from OpenSecrets.org, a nonpartisan and independent 501(c)3 organization that has up-to-date and public information on campaign contributions.

The following
organizations have
endorsed the pledge: