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Mitt Romney

Big Oil's Big Money

Big Oil has put big money behind Romney:

Koch brothers have pledged more than $200 Million with “focus” on defeating Obama. According to Politico, “The billionaire industrialist brothers David and Charles Koch plan to steer more than $200 million — potentially much more — to conservative groups ahead of Election Day, POLITICO has learned… at the latest installment of the twice-a-year gatherings of major donors sponsored by the Koch brothers’ privately owned oil, chemical and consumer products company, Koch operatives signaled they ‘are going to focus a great deal on the presidential race,’ according to someone who attended the meeting.” [Politico, 10/10/11]

Oil-backed outside groups have spent over $16 million on energy attack ads since January, many targeting Obama. According to Think Progress, “In the first three-and-a-half months of 2012, groups including Americans for Prosperity, American Petroleum Institute, Crossroads GPS, and American Energy Alliance have spent $16,750,000 on energy attack ads.” As Think Progress documented, many of these ads have directly attacked President Obama. The American Petroleum Institute is the national trade association for the oil and gas industry; Americans for Prosperity and the American Energy Alliance are partially funded by the Koch brothers.  Crossroads GPS does not disclose most of its donors, but its sister organization American Crossroads’ “donors include oil and gas executives,” as Think Progress noted. [Think Progress, 4/12/12]

Romney presidential campaigns have directly received more than $2.5 million from the oil and gas industry.  While much of the oil industry’s support for Romney is via outside groups, oil and gas companies have also contributed over $2.5 million directly to his presidential campaigns.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, as of March 21 the Romney campaign has received $2,157,484 from the oil and gas industry during the 2012 election cycle. Romney received $520,094 from the oil and gas industry during his 2008 campaign for President.  [;]

Romney raised $7 million in one day, largely from energy executives including Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, energy investor L.E. Simmons, and billionaire oil baron Harold Hamm. NBC’s First Read reported: “Mitt Romney returned to Texas oil country Tuesday to fuel his campaign coffers with nearly $7 million raised in just one day, largely with money from top energy industry executives. … Unlike previous fundraising swings through the nation's largest oil-producing state, which have netted millions for Romney's campaign and the GOP Victory fund, Romney's two-step through Houston and Midland this time is geared at the oil and gas industry, and comes as the candidate is preparing to further outline his energy policy at a campaign event in New Mexico later this week. Romney started his day with a luncheon at the Houstonian Hotel that was hosted by energy industry titans including Rex Tillerson, CEO of oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil, and L.E. Simmons, a fellow member of the LDS church and Romney's Texas finance chairman, who made his millions investing in thebooming energy sector here.  Harold Hamm, a billionaire pioneer in modern drilling techniques who spearheaded oil and gas development in North Dakota, now America's second largest oil producing state, was also in attendance at the $50,000 per person event, where Romney relayed his story as an example of bold economic risk taking. Romney told this audience he planned to roll out more detail on his energy policy but said he would offer them a first look behind closed doors. ‘I know that we have members of the media here right now, so I'm not going to go through that in great detail so I can save a bit of that until a little later in the week. But your input is something I wanted to retain before we actually cross the ‘t’s and dot the ‘i’s on those policies,’ Romney said. … The final stop on Romney's energy pilgrimage comes Tuesday night at the Petroleum Club of Midland, where an invitation obtained by NBC News listed exploration and drilling company Concho Resources executives Timothy Leach and Jack Harper as event hosts, alongside Statewide Minerals owner Miles Boldrick, whose company website claims over 25,000 oil and gas wells nationwide. For Romney, while the details of his energy policy remain to be seen, the cash well still runs deep.” [NBC’s First Read, 8/21/12]

Romney's top energy adviser is a billionaire oil executive.  Bloomberg reported: “Mitt Romney, the front-runner for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, appointed Oklahoma oil billionaire Harold Hamm as energy adviser to his campaign. Hamm, the 66-year-old founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Resources Inc. (CLR), will be chairman of Romney’s Energy Policy Advisory Group, the candidate’s campaign office said in a statement today.” As Think Progress has noted, another prominent member of the Romney campaign is Candian oil lobbyist David Wilkins. [Bloomberg, 3/1/12; Think Progress, 2/21/12]

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