Oil Change International

Exposing the true costs of fossil fuels

Senators Opposing End of Oil Subsidies Received Five Times More in Big Oil Campaign Cash

Find out how much oil money your elected representatives take by visiting the Dirty Energy Money site.

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators that blocked a vote on legislation to end taxpayer subsidies to oil companies have received five times more in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests than those who voted to begin debate, according to Oil Change International and Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

The 48 Senators that voted against cloture today on S. 940, the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, have received $370,664, on average, in campaign contributions from the employees and political action committees (PACs) of oil and gas companies during their time in Congress, while those who voted to consider the legislation received just $72,145, on average.

“Giving profitable, price-hiking Big Oil companies billions in taxpayer subsidies is plain wrong,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for Public Campaign Action Fund. “The Senators who voted to prevent consideration of this bill today have made it clear—they stand with their big oil donors over their constituents struggling to fill their tank.”

“Americans know these subsidies are just another special interest handout that is repaid with lavish campaign contributions,” said Steve Kretzmann, executive director of Oil Change International. “Congress will need to have the backbone to bite the hands that feed them if we’re ever going to end subsidies to Big Oil.”

Overall, those opposed to the legislation have received $17,791,875 in campaign cash from oil and gas interests over the years, while those who voted in favor received $3,751,551. In addition, oil and gas companies spent $39.5 million on 633 lobbyists in the first quarter of 2011.

Data on each Senator is available at http://dirtyenergymoney.com.
Media Contacts:

Adam Smith, Public Campaign Action Fund
asmith[at]publicampaign.org

Steve Kretzmann, Oil Change International
steve[at]priceofoil.org

###

The figures are based on Center for Responsive Politics data, presented at DirtyEnergyMoney.com That site is sponsored by a large and growing coalition calling for an end to subsidies to and campaign contributions from, the oil industry. The Dirty Energy Money coalition includes organizations such as the Sierra Club, Moveon.org, Credo Mobile, Public Campaign and Oil Change International.

Comments (19)

  1. Kerin says:

    Let me guess. . . Wyoming’s pair did us in-right? Wow what a pair of losers!

  2. Richard Tschiggfrie says:

    Once again the lobbyists and money have raped the public interest for personal influence. Is there an honest politician who will not be a lap=dog for special interests? An oil company which makes billions of dollars profit must be subsidized by the middle class is morally wrong!!!

  3. Obelia M. Parker says:

    Message to the 48….Say goodbye to your Senate Career!

  4. John Guth says:

    Can we re-call these senators ???

  5. mario vera says:

    All independents have to come togeatherif there is to be any change in Washington in 2012, those in congress owned by special interestes need to be replaced by an independent,time for the middle class to act

  6. Kevin Calahan says:

    Why do Republicans hate working people?

  7. Smannelli says:

    Do these senators care at all about their voters’ well-being? Their votes indicate that they do not; that they are only performing their dirty business as usual, with no morality or ethics.

  8. ellie says:

    so…here are some questions whose answers would help empower a grassroots campaign to fill the senate with elected officials that are willing to vote for the best interests of the people that elect them and a democracy that supports its citizens?

    a. which of these senators are up for re election in 2012?
    b. how can we work to evaluate and support candidates in these areas that will vote against big oil tax benefits?
    c. does the average voter in these areas benefit by big oil money and how?
    d. can we recall some of the senators that are voting against the best interests of America’s recovery?
    e. since it takes months for candidates to be recalled, and we have seen with the sad turn of events that Walker brought to Wisconsin: is it possible that we can work to change the law so that candidates become responsible for not springing surprise agendas that stand against the best interests of civil rights of individuals in a democracy and the voters that put them in office?

  9. Stephen Arkulary says:

    I am proud of our two MINNESOTA SENATORS who voted against big oil interests.
    When it comes to real priorities, our Senators and governor “get it”.

  10. abouttime says:

    The names of the Senators both Republicans and Democrats, who voted against this Bill should be published on facebook,twitter and the various internet news sites. I think the average american should know who they are, so when they go home and start spinning (lying) about how they are for balancing the budget people can ask them about their vote.

  11. Ivy Patti says:

    Perhaps someone can submit a bill that would require any approved subsidy to come with an attached “mandatory review followed by a determination to either continue or discontinue subsidies of any kind”. It seems reckless to pass bills authorizing huge subsidies during one decade, that results in those subsidies continuing into infinity!!!!
    Please somebody, explain to me how businesses can critisize “Big Government” but turn around and take Government handouts in the form of corporate welfare?

  12. joan zawacki says:

    When does the revolution begin? Think Egypt.

  13. Joanna Clark says:

    This is why I say we need true campaign reform, but it will take every American eligible to vote to make it happen.

    1) Limit campaigns to 60 days for local, 90 days for state/congressional, and 120 days for presidential.

    2) Abolish PAC’s, 527s, individual, personal/family, and corporate donations.

    3) Each individual who files as a candidate gets a fixed amount of cash from the public trust to use for his or her campaign. Any unused funds must be returned within 30 days of campaign period ending.

    4) Elected officials are limited to 12 years in office, two six-year terms in the Senate, six two-year terms in the House.

    5) Abolish pensions. They get social security plus $1000.00 for each year of service, to be paid out when they reach 65 years-of-age.

    6) Any official accepting an under the radar contribution from any source goes immediately to jail without passing go – 10 years plus $1,000,000.00 fine. Any individual or entity trying to payoff an elected official for political favors gets 25 years in prison and all of his or her assets sold off with the money going to the US Treasury.

    In otherwords, we get all of the money out of politics so that offices can not be sold to the highest bidder.

  14. Nick B says:

    I agree that it is time for real change and to make politicians accountable for all of their actions while in office for this country. The Hatch Act was created and makes every civil servant accountable for their actions while working for the US Government. Government employees are not allowed to accept any money or gifts while employed by the government, so why are politicians not held accountable just like other government employees. It is time that we make our politicians accountable for all of their actions. I do not believe that they should be above the law just because they are the people that are passing laws, especially laws to protect themselves and their friends. By making politicians responsible for their actions we may be able to get some of the corruption out of politics.
    Politicians need term limits, salary adjustments and to review and change their benefits.
    I say if they break the laws they loose their job and all benefits as soon as they are found guilty.
    As a retired civil service employee I was responsible for my actions why shouldn’t politicians be held accountable too?

  15. Bill McLaughlin says:

    Some whores sell their bodies, others, their votes. It’s often said that it’s necessary to reach the bottom before recovery can happen….I think we’re getting there.

  16. R. L. Roberts says:

    It really has come time for the American people to take a stand against all of the politicians in Washington. They have proven themselves to be no more interested in the welfare and concerns of the american people than Bin Laden! The subsidies for all of the Oil Companies must stop! All of the political special interest subsidies also must be cut out along with support and favors going to banks and Wall Street. If we had politicians in Washington who looked out for the American people and the country this country and the people in it would be better off, rather than the few who continue to become richer and richer while the whole time complaining they are having such a hard time!

  17. Dianna says:

    What I’d like to know is how these politicians can be complaining about a budget crisis, and how they have to cut vital programs to those who can least afford it, when they’re handing out subsidies to big oil companies. We’re talking cuts to education, children and adults with disabilities that have no medical, people who have worked 20 or more yrs and suddenly are laid off have no medical and aren’t eligible for any help. That’s why our middle class is disappearing. Our tax dollars fund everything that’s not here in the U.S. These politicians are paid employees by you the people, and need to be held in account for all of this excess spending that the people haven’t voted for. They don’t have to worry, your tax dollars will continue to support their every want and need. I see no difference in the political parties anymore. They all seem to be doing and saying the same thing for personal political agendas. As for biting the hand that feeds you, that is what is being done with the taxpayers who pay their salaries.

  18. Sue Harris NY State says:

    Mary Landrieu is one Democrat (rather DINO) Democrat In Name Only) I wouldn’t mind seeing get beat!!! She has also been against the health care act, and many other non-Democrat-like bills. What can you expect from anyone from Lousiana besides really true Democrats.

  19. I cant think of one reason why we should all be outraged by this! We need to collectively put down our political differences and stand up together. You know they purposefully drive a wedge in our society to turn us against our fellow citizens, making us too week to stand up and fight together. This needs to end. This is more important than any of the political wedges that they drive. We need to secure our energy independence from big oil and from big corporations. Renewable energy resources will too be controlled by big corporations if we are not careful. We need to fight. We need to secure a publicly owned utility that we as collected citizens of the United States of America control. That is the only way we can truly secure our independence. And we have the power to do it. Anyone who is interest in starting a revolution email me directly at ftrosset@gmail.com

    WE CAN AND WILL WIN!!!

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