Its not only the recent climate vote that suggests the influence of Big Oil in the Senate. Yesterday the Senate took two more votes where the influence of Big Oil was arguably a Big Factor.
Yesterday the Senate voted down a bill, S3044 that would have given some consumers relief from high gas prices, established a windfall profits tax on the oil industry, and remove some subsidies to Big Oil. Those who opposed took an average of 3.44 times more oil money than those Senators who supported it.
S3044: Avg Oil Money Per Vote
Yea (51) $53,267
Nay (43) $183,434
NV (6) $56,021
It also should be noted that 3044 contained the truly stupid NOPEC provisions, so some may have had other reasons for voting against it.
Later in the day, the Senate tried to pass incentives for renewable energy production and green job creation – again. And again they were shot down by Big Oil’s best friends. Those who voted against S 6049 took on average 2.72 times more oil money since 2000 than those who supported it.
Avg Oil Money Per Vote
Yea (50) $62,444
Nay (44) $170,048
NV (6) $56,021
So what does all this mean? Some will point out, rightly, that these votes reflect the fact that 75% of oil money campaign contributions go to Republicans. But it turns out that oil money is a fairly reliable indicator of how people vote even within the parties. For instance, House Democrats who voted against clean energy over the last several years took an average of 6.7 times as much money from Big Oil. Senate Democrats who voted against clean energy took more than twice as much from Big Oil. Read more in our key findings to Follow the Oil Money.
It seems unlikely that Big Oil is actually giving candidates money only if they agree to vote a certain way on key issues. We are not arguing for a conspiracy here.
What we are observing, is that there is a strong correlation between votes against clean energy and climate, and donations from the oil industry. If you care about these issues, you should urge your Representatives to stop taking oil money.