Media Contacts:
Adam Smith, Public Campaign Action Fund, (202) 640-5593,
Steve Kretzmann, Oil Change International, (202) 497-1033,

For Immediate Release
May 12, 2011

Senate Finance Committee Awash in Campaign Cash from Big Oil
Committee Republicans take 4 times more oil money than Democrats, on average

As representatives of the biggest oil companies are called to testify in front of the Senate Finance Committee today about oil and gas tax subsidies and rising energy prices, environmental and campaign finance reform groups pointed to the millions of dollars Senators have received from oil and gas company donors and PACs since 1999.

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have taken, on average, $96,500 since 1999 in oil industry money.  Republicans over the same period have taken $384,600 on average – roughly four times more. In total, committee members have received $5.1 million in oil industry contributions since 1999.

“As everyday Americans are watching the price of a gallon of gas top four dollars, too many in Congress are looking to Big Oil for political money,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for Public Campaign Action Fund. “Congress needs to end its addiction to big money from Big Oil and other special interests.”

“The vast majority of Americans support ending subsidies to the oil and gas industries,” said Steve Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International. “The reason it has not happened to date is that too many Members of Congress are too scared to bite the hands that feed them.”

The figures are based on Center for Responsive Politics data, presented at That site is sponsored by a large and growing coalition calling for an end to subsidies to and campaign contributions from, the oil industry. The Dirty Energy Money coalition includes organizations such as the Sierra Club,, Credo Mobile, Public Campaign and Oil Change International.

Oil Industry Campaign Contributions to Senate Finance Committee since 1999
Further information available at

Senator State/Party Total $ Info Page
John Cornyn R-TX $1,706,350
John Thune R-SD $437,312
Tom Coburn R-OK $376,509
Jeff Bingaman D-NM $310,735
Pat Roberts R-KS $298,200
Max Baucus, Chairman D-MT $227,600
Chuck Grassley R-IA $219,300
Jon Kyl R-AZ $215,949
Michael B. Enzi R-WY $207,800
Charles E. Schumer D-NY $175,718
Orrin G. Hatch, Ranking Member R-UT $164,150
Mike Crapo R-ID $157,239
Kent Conrad D-ND $114,200
John D. Rockefeller IV D-WV $92,300
Bill Nelson D-FL $67,467
Olympia J. Snowe R-ME $63,750
Thomas R. Carper D-DE $58,380
Ron Wyden D-OR $51,264
John F. Kerry D-MA $36,180
Robert Menendez D-NJ $31,400
Debbie Stabenow D-MI $31,050
Maria Cantwell D-WA $30,900
Benjamin L. Cardin D-MD $28,400