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.
21 MILLION DOLLARS.
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.
The 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.