You scratch my back and …

The latest moves to ease restrictions on offshore drilling off the US coast is being pushed by 17 Republican senators who have received $3 million total in campaign contributions from individuals and political action committees affiliated with the oil and gas industry since January 1, 2007.

The Republican energy plan, sponsored by Senator Pete Domenici, a Republican from New Mexico, would help states wishing to drill for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf, the sloping area off the coast where drilling is barred.

“The bill allows for states on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to petition the federal government to opt out of a moratorium that for two decades has locked up America’s assets and forced us to turn to unstable foreign nations to power our lives,” Domenici told Senate colleagues.

The $3 million in campaign contributions received by Domenici, McConnell and 15 other senators from contributors tied to the oil and gas industry in the current election cycle gives the appearance that they are “doing the direct bidding of the industry,” said Bill Buzenberg, executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity.

“There are fewer better examples of direct blatant support than the fossil fuel industry’s support for this kind of legislation by way of contributions to these members of Congress,” he said.

Couldn’t agree more Bill. Separate Oil and State