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A Look at Exxon Mobil’s Lobbying Numbers

Oil giant Exxon Mobil spent less money on lobbying in the second quarter (April to June) of this year than it did during the same period last year, despite ongoing efforts by the Obama administration and Congress to reshape the way oil companies can drill offshore in light of the Gulf oil spill.

Exxon Mobil spent $2.52 million in the second quarter lobbying Congress and the White House on offshore drilling, the Associated Press reports.

Much of its lobbying was focused on proposals related to offshore drilling and the U.S. moratorium on deepwater exploration. Some of those proposals would lift liability caps for oil spills, boost safety requirements and ban companies with poor safety records from receiving new permits.

For context, this quarter’s numbers are “a drop from the $4.27 million that the company spent in the same three-month period last year and the $3.39 million it spent in the first quarter of this year,” the AP says.

Of course, during that same period last year, the House was working to pass its climate bill and key senators were working to draft their version of the bill. At the same time, the Obama administration was trying to figure out whether to expand drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. (It later decided to do so.)

According to Open Secrets, the oil and gas industry spent more than $175 million in 2009 on lobbying, more than any time in the last 10 years. In 2010 so far, the industry has spent just under $75 million.

It will be interesting to see how much lobbying numbers jumped in quarter three, once more serious debate began on offshore drilling proposals.

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