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The Washington Independent

Crunching the Numbers on Oil Industry Mid-Term Spending

It’s no secret that the oil and natural gas industry has always had a huge influence in Washington. But given this summer’s massive oil spill and the prospect

Emmanuella Shea
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Oct 05, 2010

It’s no secret that the oil and natural gas industry has always had a huge influence in Washington. But given this summer’s massive oil spill and the prospect that Congress will pass stringent new drilling rules, the oil industry appears to be stepping up its game.

The industry has given about $17 million to various House and Senate candidates this election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. At this rate, the industry is expected to spend much more than it did in 2006, according to the center.

Sen. David Vitter, who hold a steady lead over his Democratic challenger, Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.), in the race to keep his Senate seat, has received the most oil industry money so far. Vitter, like many Louisiana politicians, has been a vehement opponent of the Obama administration’s moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. He has also backed Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) decision to put a hold on President Obama’s nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget until the administration overturns the moratorium.

Here is the Center for Responsive Politics’ list of the Senate candidates who received the most money from PACs associated with the oil and gas industry:

Candidate Oil and Gas Total $
David Vitter (R-La.) 512,284
Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) 464,500
Richard Burr (R-N.C.) 221,250
Rob Portman (R-Ohio) 213,258
Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) 208,750
Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) 196,550
James DeMint (R-S.C.) 182,323
John Hoeven (R-N.D.) 172,650
John Thune (R-S.D.) 171,885
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) 137,450
And the House candidates that received the most oil and gas industry money:
Candidate Oil and Gas Total $
Dan Boren (D-Okla.) 183,850
Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) 166,232
Chet Edwards (D-Texas) 158,830
Joe Barton (R-Texas) 145,620
Mike Conaway (R-Texas) 129,450
Eric Cantor (R-Va.) 125,550
William Flores (R-Texas) 117,302
John Fleming (R-La.) 108,250
Mike Ross (D-Ark.) 106,350
John Boehner (R-Ohio) 104,300
Emmanuella Shea | Emmanuella Shea is a professional financial analyst with over 9 years of experience in the financial markets. Emmanuella is still concerned about the long-term stability of multimillion-dollar financial portfolios. She is skilled at persuading and manipulating high-ranking individuals in addition to her work as a Financial Analyst. Her decisions are trusted and respected, and her views are highly regarded. Her long-term ambition is to work as a policy advisor at the national level. She wants to use her unwavering dedication and drive to help developing-country people gain more dignity and autonomy.


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