Oil & Gas Contributions to Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee


The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources is currently holding a hearing into responses to the Gulf oil spill with Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar testifying. From 2005-2010, the oil and gas industry has contributed over $2.3 million to current members of the committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The current leading recipient of oil and gas campaign contributions on the committee is Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., a strong proponent of offshore drilling. Landrieu has received $363,950 from the oil and gas industry over the last five years. In the wake of the Gulf oil spill that is washing ashore in her state, Landrieu firmly backed offshore drilling as key to America’s energy future and vital to Louisiana’s economy. She has also called for a compromise in raising the liability cap for companies involved in oil spills. The cap is currently set at $75 million.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., is second highest recipient of oil and gas money on the committee with $311,750. Lincoln has been a proponent of offshore drilling for some time, praising President Obama’s March decision to expand offshore drilling. Since the Gulf oil spill happened, Lincoln has remained quiet on whether a moratorium should be reenacted and has focused on expressing concern over BP’s practices.

The oil spill became an issue in the waning days of the primary campaign between Lincoln and Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. The League of Conservation Voters released an advertisement critical of Lincoln for the oil and gas contributions she has received and for her previous votes in favor of oil company tax breaks. Despite the advertising, Lincoln won what many consider a surprise victory over Halter last night.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is another top recipient on the committee with $225,326. Murkowski, whose state is reliant on the oil and gas industry, has been the biggest defender of the industry in the weeks since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sunk causing the massive Gulf oil spill. When the Senate sought to pass legislation raising the liability cap on oil companies, Murkowski blocked consideration of the bill to raise the cap from $75 million to $10 billion.

Below are oil and gas contributions to the full committee:

Oil & Gas Contributions to the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee (2005-2010)
Mary Landrieu $363,950
Blanche Lincoln $311,750
Bob Corker $276,700
Lisa Murkowski (ranking member) $225,326
John Barrasso $167,500
Robert Bennett $152,400
Richard Burr $114,950
Byron Dorgan $103,950
Jeff Sessions $103,700
Jeff Bingaman (chairman) $96,270
Evan Bayh $77,200
Jim Risch $76,050
Mark Udall $67,510
Tim Johnson $49,900
John McCain $30,550
Robert Menendez $21,700
Debbie Stabenow $18,300
Ron Wyden $16,864
Jeanne Shaheen $14,800
Maria Cantwell $10,300
Jim Bunning $10,000
Sam Brownback $4,600
Bernie Sanders $3,100
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  • MTR102370

    What truthfairy neglects to mention is that John McCain’s contributions were spread out over 20+ years while Barack Obama’s contributions were only over approximately 4 years. In other words, Barack Obama has received more than double the contributions per year from the oil and gas industry than McCain.

  • Truthfairy

    These are cockamamie numbers, Mr. Blumenthal; although navigating around opensecrets.org is time-consuming if you want to “find” everything. I sympathize. For ex, you reported John McCain’s Oil & Gas industry receipts for 2005-2010 at $30,550. Here’s what I found for 2008 alone:

    A substantial $4,995,215 under ‘Presidential, 2008 Election, Joint Fundraising Committees, Top Industries to All McCain Committees’:

    John McCain Victory 2008 Cttee – $2,619,950
    John McCain Victory 2008 Cttee – $328,200
    John McCain Victory 2008, Florida – $88,500
    John McCain Victory 2008, Kentucky – $8,000
    McCain-Palin Victory 2008 – $1,790,065
    McCain-Palin Victory 2008 Ohio – $60,000

    And under ‘Special Interests, Oil & Gas, Money to Congress, 1990-2019, Top 20 Members’ (but these numbers do not include ANY PAC’s or Joint Fundraising Committees):

    McCain, John (R-AZ) $2,677,064
    Hutchison, Kay (R-TX) $2,137,225
    Gramm, Phil (R-TX) $1,682,814
    Cornyn, John (R-TX) $1,638,450
    Barton, Joe (R-TX) $1,447,880
    Inhofe, James M (R-OK) $1,228,223
    Pearce, Steve (R-NM) $981,272
    Young, Don (R-AK) $980,263
    Obama, Barack (D) $973,051
    McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) $860,261
    Nickles, Don (R-OK) $841,388
    Vitter, David (R-LA) $783,835
    Landrieu, Mary L (D-LA) $757,744

    In 2008, from Chevron, Valero & Exxon PACS, Landrieu received an additional $52K – for 20 years, most of the above would additionally be funded from multiple Oil & Gas PACS. So your numbers are way too low.

    Barack Obama received $901k of his total above in 2008, his Presidential Election year….he’s not loved by this industry, but did very well in others! Palin put out there that he’d received the most from BP – not so. Here’s the Top 5 BP recipients for 1989-2010, BUT Obama received all his in 2008 AND BP’s PACS are not counted.

    Obama, Barack (D-Ill) $77,051
    Young, Don (R-Alaska) $73,300
    Stevens, Ted (R-Alaska) $53,200
    Bush, George W (R-Texas) $47,388
    McCain, John (R-Ariz) $44,899

    When you look at BP PAC receipts for the next guy down, Republican Don Young, he got an additional $42,500 from BP, bringing him to $115K – Obama only got an additional $2,000, for a $79,051

    Young’s BP PAC cash:
    $6,250 BP America PAC 1999
    $1,000 Amoco PAC 1999
    $6,250 Standard Oil PAC 1999
    $6,000 BP PAC 2000
    $5,000 BP PAC 2002
    $4,500 BP PAC 2004
    $4,000 BP PAC 2006
    $4,000 BP PAC 2008
    $1,000 BP PAC 2010

    A little more light….

    It might be worth updating your numbers.