Massive Political Contributions Corrupt Energy Policy

WASHINGTON – House Energy Committee members received $166,028 from energy producers in the first quarter of this year with more than three-quarters going to Republicans, according to a report released today by the Campaign for America’s Future. The contributions were discovered as the House began considering an energy bill that includes $8 billion in tax breaks for energy and chemical companies but does nothing to ease rising gas prices.

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics cited in the report shows that the energy and natural resource industries gave almost $350 million to federal candidates and political parties since 1990, 70 percent to Republicans. They contributed more than $50 million in the last election cycle alone with 75 percent going to Republicans.

Campaign for America’s Future Deputy Director Ellen Miller said the massive contributions are a clear example of the corruption rampant in this Congress.

“Everyday people are paying for political corruption at the pump,” said Miller. “Rep. Barton can’t act in the public interest when his pocket is full of money from special interests.”

Energy Committee Chair Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, received $34,000 from energy companies, including oil giants Exxon Mobil, Shell, Marathon and Sun Oil. Halliburton contributed $2,000 to Rep. Barton’s campaign committee.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, the driving force behind the bill in Congress, received $43,500 since the beginning of the year from energy companies. Rep. DeLay received more than $1 million from energy and natural resource interests since 1989.

Among the top contributors to committee members are the Exelon Corporation and Southern Company, two of the largest electric utilities in the nation, which gave $21,000 and $3,500 respectively.

To read the Campaign for America’s Future report, please click here.

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