In a development that will shock few, but should be known by more, some of Big Oil’s biggest friends in the Senate weighed in with President Obama last week on the Keystone XL pipeline.  The bipartisan group of eighteen Senators sent a letter to the President urging him to approve the project (apparently not caring that the environmental review process is still far from complete).

This group of eighteen Senators, not surprisingly, has taken on average, roughly twice as much money over their careers from fossil fuel interests as has the rest of the Senate.  This is all the more surprising when you realize that some of the biggest industry allies such as Texas Senator John  Cornyn or Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe did not sign this letter (although both clearly support the pipeline).

The details below are from from Oil Change International’s Dirty Energy Money database which purchases Center for Responsive Politics data that is further analyzed to give a true picture of fossil fuel industry influence.

Total lifetime oil, gas and coal $$ to the 18: 11,206,313
Lifetime Average of the 18: $622,572.94
Lifetime Average of the Rest of Senate: $326,807

Senator           Party           State        Lifetime Fossil $$

McConnell R KY


Vitter R LA


Landrieu D LA


Hutchison R TX


Murkowski R AK


Manchin D WV


Barrasso R WY


Baucus D MT


Portman R OH


Hoeven, R ND


Lugar R IN


Pryor D AR


Conrad D ND


Begich D AK


Johanns R NE


Tester D MT


Webb D VA


Hagan D NC









  • These senators are a bunch of morally, bankrupt jerks and they don’t know how to listen. Obama stated some time ago, that the Keystone XL will be put-off until January 2013. Well, it is NOV 12, so their letter is two months, too early. There is nothing wrong with the pipeline, as long as it does not cross an aquifer. The oil/pipeline companies should have came-up with a route that by-passes the aquifers, in the first place, instead of being told by Obama to come-up with a by-pass route. So who gets the blame by GOP/Wall Street/Big Oil for the delay, Obama, and not themselves. Obama will approve the Keystone XL Pipeline in JAN 13, just as he said would, if the companies submit a by-pass route. It’s so simply.

  • To Earl Richards. It’s not just the aquifers that are in jeopardy with tar sands oil transport. And there are other issues. One is that it is not suitable for fuel or heating. It’s junk. In order to get the shit, vast tracts of arboreal forest are clear cut and is left a toxic wasteland. Two, the production of this garbage uses MORE resources than it will replace. Three, moving this junk thru pipelines requires higher pressure and temperature than regular crude. AND these types of pipeline have a horrendous record of spills. How about we run one thru YOUR backyard? Anyone who supports this travesty needs to get a check up from the neck up. Oh yeah, I almost forgot the bottom line, the profits will go to a foreign company. So America gets screwed any way you look at it. Do your research before you blindly support a lie.

  • Regarding Robert’s comment about “horrendous record of spills” the producers and refiners of the Canadian Dilbit tar-sand that will go through these pipes will not have to pay the 8 cents per barrel tax to fund the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund… (That saves the producers $23 million a year on Keystone XL alone.) That is because the House Ways and Means Committee ruled tar-sand is neither oil or petroleum, therefore not subject to the tax! So… the pipeline most apt to spill won’t have to pay to fund the Oil Spill cleanup fund… seems those campaign contributions are working for big oil. This is insane…

    And… TransCanada refuses to release Material Safety Data Sheets detailing the contents of the benzene-laced DilBit, citing that information as “proprietary!” In Nebraska’s Dept of Enviromental Quality study (that is not yet complete) TransCanada stated they will release that information only after a spill! Can you imagine going into a grocery store and looking at the labels on a can of soup and it states, “We’ll tell you what’s in this soup only if it makes you ill.” Again… insane.

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