This morning the Guardian carried a story from Maplight about the influence of oil money over the July vote in the House of Representatives on the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s a classic story about the influence of campaign money over policy that will surprise few but bears repeating often. We ran a similar story about the December vote in the House on the Keystone “poison pill” provision.
Maplight helpfully makes their spreadsheet available for additional analysis, so that is what we decided to do. You can download our analysis of Maplight’s numbers here. We found several very interesting facts that were not highlighted by Maplight in their analysis:
1) On average, those Representatives who voted for the pipeline received 513% more from the oil and gas industry than those who voted against it.
2) In total, those who voted for the pipeline have received $10,922,161 from the oil and gas industry while those who voted against the pipeline have received only $717,552. In other words, those that voted for the pipeline have received 15 times more money from the oil and gas industry.
3) Maplight’s data also shows that the oil and gas industry has contributed more than ten times as much to members of Congress as environmental interests have. This is worth noting in particular because Maplight’s presentation referenced “high contributing environmental groups” without this important piece of context.
Maplight also links the Keystone XL to “a troubled economy that would benefit from the creation of new construction projects.” Ironically, Maplight is parroting industry funded myths about job creation here. In fact, the only study on the job creation potential of the Keystone pipeline that was not funded by the oil industry shows that few if any jobs will be created.
Oil Change International tracks contributions from the oil and gas industry through our Dirty Energy Money site. We also use Center for Responsive Politics data but refine it further to reflect the latest information on our area of expertise, the fossil fuel industry.