FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kate Geller, (202) 785-8683 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON – Some of Big Oil’s most loyal defenders raked in plenty of campaign cash from the nation’s most profitable oil companies even while they voted to protect taxpayer handouts to those same companies. U.S. House members who supported these unnecessary handouts received a total of $1.2 million from the political action committees (PACs) of the top U.S. oil companies in the first six months of 2011, according to Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Additionally, a whopping 94% of House oil PAC money recipients in the first 6 months of 2011 voted to keep these wasteful subsidies.
“This is why congressional approval ratings are in the toilet. People don’t believe that a member of Congress is on their side when he or she takes big money from oil companies, and then approves billions in taxpayer handouts. No wonder Americans are outraged,” said Navin Nayak, Senior Vice President of Campaigns at the League of Conservation Voters.
"Members of Congress vote to keep wasteful oil subsidies and get rewarded handsomely by the companies they protect — it’s an all-too familiar example of our broken political system," said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for Public Campaign Action Fund. "If this happened in any other profession we’d call it a bribe or a payoff."
The vote included in this analysis is Roll Call # 313 in the House [5/11/11] and Roll Call #72 in the Senate [5/17/11]. Companies’ PACs included in the analysis are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Koch Industries. So far this year, Shell Oil has not made any PAC donations to members of Congress.
Public Campaign Action Fund also cautioned that PAC contributions only begin to tell the story about the influence of an industry. A further review of contributions from executives from oil companies to Members of Congress would deepen the analysis.
# # #