Green energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Wind turbines and solar panels are an increasingly common sight. But why? What are the benefits of renewable energies—and how do they improve our health, environment, and economy? To start with green energy helps slow down global warming, by decreasing emission levels all over the world. Public health concerns are heavily linked with green energy usage as well as labor and economic benefits, this finally brings us to stable energy prices and better living conditions.
The agribusiness sector includes a diverse group of interests -- crop producers, livestock and meat producers, poultry and egg companies, dairy farmers, timber producers, tobacco companies and food manufacturers and stores. Total contribution to the sector adds up to $59,446,429 Issues of importance to the sector include agriculture subsidies, environmental and safety regulations and trade policy. Immigration overhaul is also a priority, as many industries in the sector are highly dependent on immigrants and seasonal workers for labor.
This sector includes general contractors, home builders, special trade contractors (such as electricians and plumbers), construction services and building material and equipment companies. When it comes to key issues, the sector is fairly unified. All the industries support increased government spending on transportation and infrastructure, as well as tax policies that favor new building and home ownership. Other concerns include environmental and labor regulations. Recently, the sector, because of its increasing reliance on immigration for labor, has been supportive of overhauling the immigration system.
On many issues -- privacy, bankruptcy, economic policy and deregulation, for instance -- the legislative priorities of credit unions, which are owned by their members, generally align with those of commercial banking interests. That's lucky for the not-for-profit credit unions, which generally contribute substantially less to federal candidates. Credit unions' federal lobbying investment stood at around $7.4 million in 2016, a whisker higher than the previous year but other than that lower than any year since 2008. Again, most of that -- $4.3 million -- was spent by the Credit Union National Association. The group was a little less dominating in the lobbying realm than in campaign contributions, though: The National Association of Federal Credit Unions spent about $2.5 million last year. The industry's key concerns involving banking, finance, and taxes.
Physicians and other health professionals are traditionally the largest source of federal campaign contributions in this sector, which contributed a record $260.4 million to federal candidates during the 2012 election cycle. Aside from doctors' associations, pharmaceutical companies and HMOs are consistently generous givers. Certain industries within the sector, such as nurses, give more generously to Democrats, but on the whole Republicans traditionally have gained the most from contributions by health interests.
The health sector will be most affected in upcoming years by the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a major restructuring of national health care policy that became law in 2010. The sector has been split on the law, with many doctors' associations opposing it while pharmaceutical companies backed it.
The health sector's lobbying efforts, have yet to match the more than $552 million it spent in 2009. In 2013, these interests spent more than $483 million on lobbying, more than $226 million of which came from the pharmaceutical industry. That industry includes the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America, Eli Lilly, Amgen and Pfizer, each of which spent more than $8 million on lobbying in 2013. Other top lobbying spenders in the health sector include the American Hospital Association, which spent more than $19 million and the American Medical Association, which spent more than $18 million on lobbying in 2013.