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Industries and individual companies with a stake in the landmark House climate and energy bill poured money into lobbying early this year, many at a pace that could shatter previous spending records.Skip to next paragraphMore News From GreenwireClean Tech Frets as Power of Government's Purse GrowsFarm-State Deal on House Climate Bill Pares Biomass RestrictionsHouse Democrats Limit Amendments to Interior-Epa Spending BillDemocratic Leaders in Race to Lasso Fence-Sitters in Climate Bill Debate2M Americans Face Heightened Cancer Risks From Air Pollution, EPA Says A blog about energy, the environment and the bottom line.Go to Blog �They worked to reshape the bill.

They have focused on votes, pressuring moderates, freshman and any lawmaker considered an ally.

They are now in a last-gasp effort to push anyone left on the fence."When [President] Obama was elected, that was a wakeup call to all the groups that were lobbying that something might happen," said Kenneth Green, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank.

"Once they actually drafted legislation, that opened up the flood gates."From oil and gas companies to environmentalists, sectors with energy interests this year hired and added lobbyists.

Some pushed to make pending climate legislation stronger.

Others wanted wording to soften the financial blow of regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

The companies and groups saw a unique moment, with a Democratic president and Democratic majority in Congress set on changing U.S.

energy policy.Many lobbyists say they had both wins and losses in the massive bill from Democratic Reps.

Henry Waxman of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts."There's a lot of interest in this bill.

There's a lot of different players," said Jim Martin, director of strategic policy for the American Wind Energy Association.

"Hopefully, you state your case as best you can and work your allies."E&E examined spending for 10 industries with stakes in climate and energy legislation: oil and gas, electric utilities, chemical and related manufacturing, agricultural services and products, alternate energy and production services, mining, environmental, forestry and forest products, and natural gas transmission and distribution.

The industry data was compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, which uses reports filed with the House and determines the industry categories.For half of those industries, funds for lobbying increased.

For others, particularly those battered by the recession, spending stayed flat or fell.

Mining spent about 24 percent less than it did a year earlier.

Utility lobbying stayed about even with last year.But for others, it was time to ramp up the persuasion.Oil and gas companies, agricultural services and product makers, alternative energy producers, environmental groups, and those in the natural gas businesses spent more than they did last year.

Within each of those categories are stories of individual companies and organizations laying out far more than they have in the past.Those groups say they must educate Congress."We're spending that money to represent our member companies at a time when initiatives in the new administration and Congress will have an impact on the viability of the industry," said Robert Dodge, spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute, a trade group for about 400 small and large companies.Others see advocacy spending more critically."It's influence peddling.

What you're doing is trying to purchase influence," said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at Public Citizen, a watchdog group.

"Most of the time there's a positive return on your investment."But lobbying is only part of the influence effort, Slocum said.

Groups also lavish money on advertising, which is not counted as lobbying unless it is for or against a particular candidate or ballot measure.

And those with policy interests give money to political campaigns.

Those contributions help open the door to company lobbyists, Slocum said."Money buys you access," Slocum said.

"That is exactly why they do it.

It's an investment"The big spendersFor the 10 energy interests analyzed, the oil and gas industry led the pack on spending.

It shelled out $44.5 million in the first three months of this year, compared with $30.1 million spent in the same quarter in 2008.For all of last year, oil and gas spent $130 million, at the time a record for the industry.

If the pace set by this year's first quarter continues, it would result in a $178 million lobbying total for the year.Exxon Mobil Corp.

spent the most within that group, paying $9.3 million on lobbying the first quarter of this year.

Last year the company spent $29 million, its highest level ever.Oil and gas companies lobby on climate policies but also on tax issues, royalties, offshore drilling and other issues, Slocum said."They're also pretty flush with cash," Slocum said, noting record profits by Exxon Mobil and others.Exxon Mobil did not return calls requesting a comment.

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