Oil Change International

Exposing the true costs of fossil fuels

Pro-Keystone XL Senate bill follows pattern of following the oil money

Remember the letter a group of Senators sent a couple weeks ago urging the President to approve the problematic Keystone XL pipeline?  We wrote about it at the time, and in so doing we discovered that the Senators who signed have received over 236% more in fossil fuel campaign contributions than the rest of the Senate.

This analysis didn’t come as a surprise to us — every single time a grouping of Senators or other Members of Congress have come together to push for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, those groups have followed the same pattern:

January 23rd: Pro-Keystone XL Letter Dripping in Fossil Fuel Money:

Senators who signed this letter have received – on average –340% MORE in campaign contributions from fossil fuel industry interests than those who had the sense to stay away.

January 29th: Latest pro-Keystone XL letter from Congress once again awash with oil money:

 Those Representatives that signed the letter received roughly 250% more money from oil and gas interests compared to those Representatives who did not sign the letter.

February 26th: Senators send pro-Keystone XL letter, once again drenched with oil money

The Senators who signed the pro-Keystone XL letter have received roughly 236% more in donations on average from fossil fuel interests than those that did not sign the letter.

March 7th: Latest pro-Keystone XL effort comes from oil-fueled Congressmen

The co-sponsors have, on average, received over $662,000 in fossil fuel-related campaign contributions in their careers.  That’s over 410% more than the average member of the House of Representatives.

Now we come to today’s news. Once again, a group of Senators has decided to push for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, this time with a bill spearheaded by Senators Hoeven and Baucus.  And, following the clear pattern set by their colleagues in recent months, the co-sponsors of this new bill have enjoyed massive contributions from the fossil fuel industry through their careers.

The facts, from our Dirty Energy Money database:

  • In total, the 14 Senators who have co-sponsored this bill have received nearly $10 MILLION in contributions from the fossil fuel industry, some $6.6 million of that from the oil industry alone.
  • On average, the 14 co-sponsors have received over $708,000 each from the fossil fuel industry in their career, over half of that from the oil industry.
  • Compared to the rest of the Senate, the co-sponsors of today’s pro-KeystoneXL bill have received 227% more in fossil fuel-related campaign contributions on average than their counterparts.

Consistency is sometimes a trait to be admired. But just once, we wish these Senators would break the trend and listen to the thousands upon thousands standing up against this pipeline, instead of the Big Oil benefactors lining their campaign war chests.

Afterall, as our recent analysis shows, this pipeline is not going to benefit US energy security — the oil the Keystone XL pipeline would transport would be largely destined for export.  As my colleague Steve Kretzmann said today in the Wall Street Journal: “If the national-interest determination is about figuring out what is going to make Valero the most money, then sure, maybe we should approve Keystone. But I don’t think that’s what the national-interest determination is supposed to be.”

These Senators are clearly looking at oil industry bottom lines in order to protect their campaign contributions, when they should be looking at what’s in the best interests of the public.

Comments (12)

  1. Linda clark says:

    Names of senators and representatives please

  2. David Turnbull says:

    As described here (included in the link above)…Joining Baucus and Hoeven as cosponsors on the bill are Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) Mary Landrieu (D-La.), David Vitter (R-La.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).

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  4. factchecker12 says:

    its funny how this article does not mention that tom steyers has pledged 100 million in reelection campaigns to democratic senators that will not vote for keystone pipeline, or that micheal Bloomberg has pledged 50 million to candidates for gun control. why isn’t harry reid slandering them daily on the senate floor like he does the Koch brothers? hmm sounds a little hypocritical dems don’t like rich people trying to buy votes, that is unless they are paying them. but of course that wont happen because its ok for liberals to lie and slander to further their cause without telling the whole strory, oh and Bloomberg retained his armed security staff when leaving office so I guess what he is really saying is…… its ok for me to live surrounded by guns that protect me, its just not ok for the rest of you to have them

  5. bill heerkins says:

    its also true that if the oil is not shipped via the pipeline that it will be shipped by warren buffets railroad, if I recall he is a big Obama donor and backer, seems like there is crooked money on both sides of the fence here

  6. factchecker says:

    why are you suppressing the truth this was deleted its 100 percent factual

    its funny how this article does not mention that tom steyers has pledged 100 million in reelection campaigns to democratic senators that will not vote for keystone pipeline, or that micheal Bloomberg has pledged 50 million to candidates for gun control. why isn’t harry reid slandering them daily on the senate floor like he does the Koch brothers? hmm sounds a little hypocritical dems don’t like rich people trying to buy votes, that is unless they are paying them. but of course that wont happen because its ok for liberals to lie and slander to further their cause without telling the whole strory, oh and Bloomberg retained his armed security staff when leaving office so I guess what he is really saying is…… its ok for me to live surrounded by guns that protect me, its just not ok for the rest of you to have them

  7. buffett says:

    its also true that if the oil is not shipped via the keydtone pipeline it will be transported by warren buffets trainlines, isn’t he a big Obama backer/donor. seems like dirty money on both sides

  8. factchecker says:

    why are you suppressing the truth this statement was deleted its 100 percent accurate

    its funny how this article does not mention that tom steyers has pledged 100 million in reelection campaigns to democratic senators that will not vote for keystone pipeline, or that micheal Bloomberg has pledged 50 million to candidates for gun control. why isn’t harry reid slandering them daily on the senate floor like he does the Koch brothers? hmm sounds a little hypocritical dems don’t like rich people trying to buy votes, that is unless they are paying them. but of course that wont happen because its ok for liberals to lie and slander to further their cause without telling the whole strory, oh and Bloomberg retained his armed security staff when leaving office so I guess what he is really saying is…… its ok for me to live surrounded by guns that protect me, its just not ok for the rest of you to have them

  9. factchecker says:

    I can come back and post truth every hour via bot, let it stand havnt you heard of free speech or at least of telling the whole story and being truthfull

  10. factchecker says:

    someone got caught lying and trying to push their political agenda shame shame

  11. David Turnbull says:

    Hi there “factchecker” —
    You are mistaken — our commenting system requires us to approve all comments, to ensure that they are all appropriate for a “family audience”. Sometimes it takes a little while for our staff to be able to approve them given capacity constraints within the team. When someone posts in rapid succession, it may seem like your posts aren’t being approved when in fact they are simply awaiting moderation.

    We feel no need to censor disagreeing views. We know the facts are on our side and stand behind them.

    Cheers,
    David

  12. Henry Patterson says:

    wow lol , well I didn’t believe factchecker myself so I looked up everything he said. unfortunately it is 100 percent correct, I don’t know if an omission of facts is indeed lying I guess this ones kind of like asking one of your sons if he stole the chocolate cake and him answering no because his brother stole it from counter then they both ate it. although I don’t agree with keystone pipeline I have to say it sounds like the democrats are a worse offender and yes bigger hypocrits than the republicans in this case. as far as the facts being on the authors side. well not if you look at all of them I agree this seems like a deliberate effort to obscure the truth, shoddy reporting work one sided not factual in as much as it leaves out a more pertinant fact the dems received 4 times as much dirty money as the republicans did. and im a democrat but im a fair one. shame on you democrats. you have no leg to stand on in this case your an embaressment to the rest of the honest dnc members to have fair debate all facts must be presented

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