Twitter and Qik Cover Pro-Oil Drilling Protest in House


Ben Pershing at the Washington Post writes, “If a party stages a protest on the House floor but no one can see or hear it, does it make a sound?” Yes, it makes a tweet.

After adjourning for the annual summer recess, House Republicans took to the floor to protest the failure of the House to hold a vote to allow offshore drilling. Since the protest happened after adjournment was announced, the House cameras and lights were turned off. While Republicans shouted from the floor and journalists hurried to see what was happening, GOP Rep. John Culberson was tweeting away the happenings from the floor. Culberson even let some other lawmakers take over his account including Roy Blunt, Adam Putnam, John Shimkus, Tom Price, Ted Poe, Virginia Foxx, and John Shadegg. Culberson’s tweets marked yet another moment where Twitter broke a story before it could make it to the news.

Culberson is also Qiking the event. Pretty cool stuff.

But, Twitter isn’t the only angle to this story. These lawmakers aren’t simply taking to the floor to demand help for gas consumers, they are pushing a central facet of the oil industry’s legislative agenda: offshore drilling. Just yesterday it was announced that, yet again, ExxonMobil broke the record for largest quarterly profit pulling in $11.7 Billion.

And as many can predict, the oil industry is very liberal in its contributions to the campaigns of congressmen who support their agenda. Let’s start with the lawmakers who are mentioned as on the floor by press accounts and Rep. Culberson’s tweets:

Career Contributions from Oil & Gas Companies.
Brady, Kevin (R-TX) $369,797
Blunt, Roy (R-MO) $362,248
Culberson, John (R-TX) $301,961
Boehner, John (R-OH) $185,000
Shimkus, John (R-IL) $184,161
Pence, Mike (R-IN) $150,950
Poe, Ted (R-TX) $128,650
Shadegg, John (R-AZ) $119,495
Putnam, Adam H (R-FL) $70,300
Foxx, Virginia (R-NC) $47,100
Sali, William T (R-ID) $43,000
Price, Tom (R-GA) $24,500

Source: Open Secrets

That’s a lot of money on the floor of the House right now.