Oil Industry Influence: Personal Finances


“My name is Daniel Plainview and this is my son and partner H.W. Plainview. I’m an oil man.” Ok, ok, there won’t be blood, but there will be money made from oil profits. Over the last two weeks, gas prices and oil industry influence have been a key focus in both the media and here on this blog.

Last week, I looked at campaign contributions from the oil industry to a group of Republicans staging a pro-oil industry protest on the floor of the House. There are other ways to look at the economy of influence using publicly available data. For one, members of Congress must disclose their assets in personal financial disclosure forms. In this case, I want to look at stocks, in particular oil stocks. Thanks to Open Secrets’ personal financial disclosure database, I was able to put together the nifty chart below.

This chart shows stock holdings in the leading oil companies by members of the House of Representatives. If you aren’t familiar with personal financial disclosures, they require lawmakers to list assets in a range (i.e.: $15,001-$50,000). In the chart you will see a low estimate, a high estimate, and an average. In some cases, lawmakers list the actual value – not a range – and that is listed in this color.

So, who’s going to make money if Congress passes pro-oil industry legislation:

Top 25 Congressmen with Holdings in Leading Oil Companies
Congressman Low Estimate Average/Actual High Estimate
Hayes, Robin (R-NC) $3,645,012 $8,572,506 $13,500,000
Carter, John (R-TX) $1,000,001 $3,000,001 $5,000,000
Freylinghuysen, Rodney (R-NJ) $950,008 $1,500,004 $2,050,000
Sensenbrenner, James (R-WI) $1,133,985 $1,458,984 $1,783,983
Marchant, Kenny (R-TX) NA 429,148 NA
Sessions, Pete (R-TX) $215,003 $382,502 $550,000
Whitfield, Ed (R-KY) $200,002 $350,001 $500,000
Upton, Fred (R-MI) $195,005 $347,503 $500,000
Maloney, Carolyn (D-NY) $151,003 $258,002 $365,000
Price, David (D-NC) $130,003 $240,002 $350,000
Doggett, Lloyd (D-TX) $116,003 $215,502 $315,000
Berkley, Shelley (D-NV) NA $165,751 NA
Goode, Virgil (R-VA) $100,002 $150,001 $200,000
Buchanan, Vern (R-FL) $81,014 $148,007 $215,000
Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV) $66,003 $115,502 $165,000
Cohen, Steve (D-TN) $65,002 $107,501 $150,000
McCaul, Michael (R-TX) $46,004 $105,502 $165,000
Knollenberg, Joe (R-MI) NA $92,500 NA
Bono Mack, Mary (R-CA) $22,008 $88,504 $155,000
Moran, Jerry (R-KS) $51,002 $83,001 $115,000
Camp, Dave (R-MI) $32,004 $81,002 $130,000
Oberstar, James (D-MN) $50,001 $75,001 $100,000
Duncan, Jimmy (R-TN) $30,002 $65,001 $100,000

(Source: Open Secrets)