Oil Change International

Exposing the true costs of fossil fuels

Oil money behind Keystone XL Senate bill breaks 20 million dollars

UPDATE, May 12th: The pro-Keystone XL bill died in the Senate today after Republican Senators blocked bi-partisan efforts to move forward the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill. Read more.


That’s a huge amount of money. If you were so inclined, it could buy a mansion in Beverly Hills, dozens of sports cars, a private island, a penthouse in Manhattan, or sponsor 4-year educations at Harvard for nearly 100 students.

But unfortunately, according to our Dirty Energy Money database, that money actually represents the amount the oil industry has given to Senators who cosponsored a bill introduced today by Senators Landrieu (D-LA) and Hoeven (R-ND) pushing for approval of the disastrous Keystone XL pipeline. Cosponsored by the entire Republican Senate caucus and 11 Democratic Senators, it’s the latest in a series of efforts by the oil-soaked Congress to circumvent normal process for considering these pipelines and is expected to be voted on next week.

KXL Dem May2014 v3The Senate is swimming in dirty energy money, but the $21 million in Big Oil cash behind this bill is huge even in that context. On average, each Senator signed on as a cosponsor has received roughly $375,000 from the oil industry. Meanwhile Senators not listed as cosponsors average $78,000 in oil money per Senator.*

In other words, those Senators cosponsoring the pro-Keystone XL bill introduced today have received roughly 5 times more in oil industry cash than those who remained off the bill.

While the Senators who have cosponsored the Landrieu-Hoeven bill may have already been bought off by Big Oil for this round, the rest of the Senate is still in play, and approval of this bill hangs in the balance. It’s time to pick up the phone and call your Senators and urge them to vote NO on this bill and to continue to respect due process, landowner rights, and to protect our climate and communities.

You can reach the US Capitol switchboard here: 202-224-3121 — call today and tell your Senators to stand with the many, not the money and vote NO on the the Landrieu-Hoeven Keystone XL bill. [No longer needed! The bill has failed as of May 12th]

*Note: Senator John Walsh of Montana was excluded from this analysis, as he was appointed to fill a vacant seat earlier this year and thus no campaign contribution data is available for him thus far.

Comments (57)

  1. Lorena Songcayawon says:

    Accountability from our governmental political representatives must me made mandated immediately ….. this lack of respect to its people these greedy bastards are suppose to represent must be met with Federal charges and impeachment of seats they currently hold!

  2. Margaret Korshoj says:

    DON”T BE A LOBBY PUPPET!!! KEYSTONE IS A DISASTER!!!!! Vote AGAINST THIS and thus FOR the environmental safety of the US!!!

  3. Ken Culp says:

    please do not sell us out!
    this is our home, not Keystone XL’s! our earth is not replaceable!
    wake up!

  4. Patricia Hadsall says:

    I would like to know why senators are receiving any money from oil companies. What is the purpose of this practice. It seems extremely corrupt for politicians to be given money from anybody. Doesn’t it? Or am I just stupid and don’t get it. Could someone enlighten me in this area?

  5. Byron & Beth Lollar says:

    Just say no to KXL. You dumb a$$e$ are acting like a bunch of greedy sheople.

  6. Sarah Tarini says:

    You are killing us for dollars that can’t be used by your children’s children… Wake up.. Save our future… Stop this death of our earth!

  7. Kenneth Farrell says:

    You’re selling us out.

  8. Carole Jones says:

    Our Government is a disaster .The only thing most of them listen to is money talking. I would totally agree on impeachment of seats. They firmly believe there is nothing we can do to them. Prove them wrong , now !!!!!!!!!!!

  9. dd perea says:

    Keep the public informed of monies received by Congressional members through published lists as near to real time as technologically possible. It infects our communities at the local level, educate us on how to spot this “flesh eating disease”.

  10. Mary richardson says:

    This is what greed looks like

  11. Joseph Stroman says:

    This is so wrong.

  12. Nick says:

    Folks – “House of Cards” is real. This behavior by our lobby-receiving governmental representatives is absolute corruption.

  13. Laurie James says:

    It should be against the law for any public servant to recieve funds for any reason from corporations … If these people would serve their constituents instead, they would be re- elected without the mass amount of money that supports elections and skews what is the right thing to do, for those you represent.

  14. Rosemary Glenn says:

    This will be an accident waiting to happen. If you are not from the areas affected back off and ask yourself if you would want this in your backyard. Of course you would not so use some common sense and vote NO. Back the MANY NOT THE MONEY! We don’t have to worry about a foreign power trying to take us over, congress and all the governmental agencies that were set up to protect us are making terrible decisions that will affect us for generations and seemingly all for the love of money,

  15. Van Vu says:

    What a bunch of ridiculous pocket monkeys. There needs to a void on the voting rights of congress members who have accepted money from external companies concerning bills in which that money has the potential to form a bias in judgment. End of story. If they can’t do their jobs on tax payer money alone, they need to find a different line of work and let someone who can do the work fill their seat.

  16. Mike Wintzer says:

    Buying votes of lawmakers is a crime in most democratic countries. Both, corruptors and corrupted go to jail. Why are in one boat with corruption-rife third-world dictatorships?

  17. Gloria Bryant says:

    Taking money from ANY Lobbyist is tantamount to LYING to your constituents. They elected you to represent THEM, not some corporation from Canada, which seems to be primarily owned by the KochRoach brothers and creatures like John Boehner..

  18. Janene Mannerheim says:

    It is unfortunately happening all over the world. It seems the people who are elected into govern have little knowledge of science & hence do not understand what is really happening to our planet. They also seem to ‘celebrity’ mentality.. Hob nob with the rich & famous… Become one. Thank goodness there is a ground swell of knowlegable, intelligent, caring people wanting & working for this planet, its environment, flora & fauna (and that includes all 8 billion of us).

  19. Nancy Turnbough says:

    Do you have children? Grandchildren ? Do you want them to be dealing with this keystone xl, along with the rest of the mess we made? Please vote no on Keystone XL.

  20. Paul Stills says:

    Do NOT allow Keystone to proceed. The money behind the politician buyouts- oops I mean “perks” is a disgrace. Who cares how much you have when nobody is around to use it??

  21. nancy stein says:

    Please call the following senators if you are in their district and ask them to not support this bill:
    Delaware (Carper, Coons)
    Florida (Bill Nelson)
    Colorado (Bennett)
    S. Dakota (Tim Johnson)
    Penn (Bob Casey)
    Republicans are only 4 votes short! this is serious!

  22. Carol Farmer says:

    Politicians who vote for this keystone XL bill should be ashamed. Our Government’s budget deficit, old people living on SS from month to month, children without proper clothing or education, etc. should be such a higher priority than bribery for oil co’s. Many more people than ever before are going to vote against incumbents in every election.

  23. Luean Anthony says:

    How many more train derailments and oil spills do we need to convince people that Keystone will be a disaster? I lived in Houston for 25 years (until 2010) and the air is still foul and the ship channel subject to oil spills by use of single-hulled ships. Oil is the fuel of the past–let’s transition to cleaner options for the future.

  24. Michele L'Herault says:

    Please consider leaving this dirty form of oil in the ground instead of transporting accross our beautiful country. Many other forms of energy do exist and we are smarter than this!
    Michele L’Herault

  25. Julie Hagan Bloch says:

    No good could come of this. It’s poison through and through — and so is the system that allows the oil companies to bribe the lawmakers.

  26. c. parker says:

    The climate change report just came out and it is about time our senators and congress as well as the White House listen to the report.
    We are suppose to be downsizing on the fossil fuels not increasing. It is one big lie that this will create jobs and personally I could care less about the jobs and I care more about our planet.
    Every American should be caring and we should be fighting to impeach or vote out every politicians that tries to pass this bill though.
    This pipeline won’t stop here, when one get though then it opens the flood gates for more and all of this will go to other countries, but we will pay the price. With more catastrophes to our water supply plus all the water it takes to pull this out of the ground and none of it is reusable. We need to understand that the OIL Industry is all out for themselves and is extremely corrupt and would sell us down the river along with their mother.
    Our President has jumped on the ban wagon and is playing this out…Please, do not sell us to the tar sands…no XL pipeline…save our planet…save our water…save us.

  27. John Ecklund says:

    Enough is enough!!!!

  28. Pro pipeline people say lots of jobs will be created: NOT
    Pro’s say there won’t be environmental destruction:NOT
    The Koch Bros stand to make a profit of $21 Million- TRUE

  29. Ginny M says:

    I read somewhere that the KXL pipeline is payback for the money we owe China. Anyone else hear this? So disgusted with the lack of integrity of our leaders. All puppets.

  30. Lucille White says:

    The way that our elected officials act is tantamount to communist countries where officials; elected or otherwise act without concern for their people, or the environment. We are nearing disaster and big money speaks first and foremost as our people continue to suffer with climate change that will become so drastic only the very rich can afford to reside on the planet. With out a clean environment we will not survive.

  31. Sandra Downie says:

    Why aren’t we getting this type of information from “investigative reporters”? Too bad the news media doesn’t think it’s as important to report what our politicians are doing, than who the Kardashians are doing….

  32. Valarie Hayes says:

    Here you are selling out out county again . You need to stop this !!!! stop the pipeline comming into our country . DO THE RIGHT THING STOP THIS

  33. Valarie Hayes says:

    Please call the following senators if you are in their district and ask them to not support this bill:
    Delaware (Carper, Coons)
    Florida (Bill Nelson)
    Colorado (Bennett)
    S. Dakota (Tim Johnson)
    Penn (Bob Casey)
    Republicans are only 4 votes short! this is serious!

  34. Ronald Mitsuing says:

    It’s Harper n his regime that also needs to be stopped, don’t know how much big oil is paying them n he has suppressed the media on this issue

  35. Dorn Hetzel says:

    This pipeline is a terrible idea and should not be approved.

  36. David says:

    Corruption is the norm not the exception. Similar situations go unnoticed everyday. Our government is one of the most corrupt in the planet. Those in charge have made toilet paper of our constitution and hooker of the statue of liberty. Everything sells to the highest bidder. Shameful.

  37. Linda Hoytll says:

    Face it my American friends….we no longer live in a Democracy…it lives in name only, and in the past.

  38. MATT SMITH says:

    Mr. David Turnbull isn’t the sharpest pencil in the box. He first fails to make a rational argument and then he proceeds to ignore that this pipeline would
    1. Create 1000 of jobs/guess the market is good enough for him 2. Make transfer of crude safer than it is now, thus better protecting the environment from spills with other transportation. 3. This oil doesn’t belong to him, it belongs to the American people and he should shut his naïve mouth before he makes a further fool of himself. I always say that a writer should always do his homework first before he/she writes and do so with an agenda in which you already make up your mind.

  39. D Soares says:

    Public officals should not accept monetary gifts. the only time is when they are campaigning. Conflict of interest, bribery and coercion takes place when money is distributed to these officials.Look at Germany, clean energy, solar panels, closing nuclear plants, and no fossil fuels. The oil companies want this pipeline, to make money by selling outside of the US, because Americans are looking to cleaner energy. Its all money, and everyone knows it.

  40. Susan Hall says:

    Please tell us who the Senator’s are that received the money!!

  41. Lynny Sumner says:

    I would love to see the names of the DEMOCRATIC Senators who took this money! Can you list a roll call?

  42. Bart says:

    Vote to construct the Keystone pipeline immediately. It is far superior to shipping the oil by rail or truck or a pipeline the CHINA.

  43. Nansoon Terry says:

    This pipeline is, has, and will always be a bad idea. Not only are our ‘elected’ officials paid off (graft) by the oil lobbyist, but the oil going down this thing would not even be used for North America. All this BS talk about energy independence is a crock. Big oil wants to expose American to the very real risk (over and over) of destruction of our environment, but the oil will end up going to China or the highest bidder. Here in Oklahoma we are, by legislation, now going to be taxed by the big energy companies for installing solar. Our governor is bought and paid for by the same entities that wish to foist the fiasco that is Keystone on us all. It’s all about $$ and they don’t care who suffers for it.

  44. DIANE SMITH says:

    This is what results when you have an oligarchy hiding behind massive corporations colluding with a corrupt government and a conservative Supreme Court that has the audacity to call a corporation a person and money “free speech”.

    The dirty oil money should be illegal!!! And f’ing corporations are not people!! We need to clean house in Washington!!! We need people in there who actually care about us the worker bees and care about our country and not their own bank accounts!!!!!!!!!! People need to wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. DIANE SMITH says:

    Also, why do you think that Comcast…wants to control the internet?!! So conversations such as this don’t happen!! Freedom of speech and easy access to ideas is very dangerous to an oligarchy and crooked corporations…

  46. Pipeline is like a time bomb. We should not go into this way.

  47. Richard La France says:

    The corporations are writing their own bills and paying the Senators to push them through. They have to be stopped and we’re the only ones who can stop them. The word “impeach” has been used frequently in this post. That is the correct thing to be done with these reprehensible money grabbers. My representatives won’t even respond to me anymore when I protest something about the Koch Brothers and/or the oil industry in general. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer blocked my emails. So much for “Write your representatives.”!

  48. Brenda Drew says:

    Bottom line, the Keystone XL pipe line is a major disaster waiting to happen and there have already been leaks that this mostly Fascist Reichwing controlled media has been suppressing! They may report it in the very beginning but then they suppress the outcomes! Environmentalist were concerned that there was recent seismic activity around the New Madrid fault line as recent as 2005…my main concern other than leaks is that it runs above ground right through Tornado Alley slated to go through Texas which according to the American Climate Center has the most tornadoes of any state, 155 on average per year! All we need is one huge catagory 3, 4 or 5 tornado to hit one of those old above ground pipes and WHAM!! It could cause a domino effect …all of this falls upon deaf ears, blind eyes and ALL FOR PROFIT AND GREED! As usual, “MONEY TALKS AND BULLSHIT WALKS” and “We, the people” along with our pets, our livestock and homes are the BULLSHIT!! DOWN WITH THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE! TIME TO GO COMPLETELY SOLAR! Nicolai Tesla said over 100 years ago we should go completely wireless and completely SOLAR and no one listened to him…we’re still not listening to him enough…we’re still addicted to fossil fuels literally from the Age of Dinosaurs! Other countries are going green and SOLAR…TIME TO GET MORE WITH IT AMERICA, TIME TO EVOLVE!! We’re looking more and more like a Third World country when it comes to our infrastructure and our energy resources! Let’s not live like the Flintstones! SMDH

  49. Donna Thibodeau says:


    The future is HEMP! HEMP for sustainability!

  50. Oil is out of our lives. Lets follow our knowledge of the future to love and leave a land that we have fought for for years. Our children will love us for this. Others, we really do not care.

  51. susan slater says:

    The dirty oil kings are invaders those payed off politicians are traitors. They attack , block, stop our government for oil. Demand the end of dirty oil, get with the rest of our world, SOLAR, WIND, WATER, TIDES, GEO-THERMAL , its happening!

  52. Anthony Janis says:

    do not kill the earth…no more oil…a transition to clean energy, cross train miners, and use the big oil money to invest in these ventures.

  53. Jonathan Strider says:

    And here I thought bribery was illegal….. Just sayin..

  54. nikoli ana says:

    i dont expect any of the devil worshiping govt to do anything right

  55. hebintn says:

    REPEAL Citizens United. Impeach congressmen who take money from corporations. There MUST be conflict of interest.

  56. Jane Smit says:

    Governments usually doesn’t care about the folks or their opinions. Only before an election they make that huge promises witch they never fulfil. Governors mostly want to be elected for the money. It is rarely that someone wants to be a governor for the good reasons. When a state is democrat you have a choice to vote for the party that mostly will provide what seems necessarily to you. If you vote, vote wisely.