WASHINGTON – As oil company executives testified before a joint Senate hearing on energy prices and corporate profits today, Campaign for America’s Future Deputy Director Ellen Miller questioned whether Senators will be beholden to their campaign contributors or act on behalf of their constituents.
Executives from ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP America Inc. and the Shell Oil Company are testifying before the joint hearing held this morning by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation and the Committee on Energy & Natural Resources. Campaign contributions from these five companies, through their PACs, employees, executives and their spouses totaled $27.7 million to political parties and candidates since the 1990 election cycle. More than seven out of every 10 of these dollars went to Republicans, according to data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.
In total, the oil and gas industry has donated more than $185 million to political candidates and parties since the 1990 election cycle. Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of this money has gone to Republicans.
“This is protection money, pure and simple. Who can trust that these Senators will honestly be able to help hard-pressed citizens with high gas prices and home heating bills this winter?” Ellen Miller, deputy director of Campaign for America’s Future, said. “Special interests got their way with the energy bill earlier this year. Is the same thing going to happen again? No doubt, they are betting that they will get what they paid for.”
Two of the executives testifying this morning – David O’Reilly of Chevron and James Mulva of PhillipsConoco, and their spouses – have personally contributed $71,500 and $67,184 since 1990. Others testifying have contributed smaller amounts.
Senate Energy Committee Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., received $574, 087 from oil and gas interests in the same time period. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, received $368,890 from oil and gas interests since the 1990 election cycle. In total, all Senate Energy Committee members received $4.8 million from oil and gas interests in this time period, while members of the Senate Commerce committee received $5.7 million from oil and gas interests.
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