Budget Proposals Follow Energy Influence: Obama Goes After Producers, Sen. Paul Goes After Regulators

Jan. 31, 2011 - In the 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama proposed eliminating roughly $4 billion annually in tax deductions to oil companies. Recently elected senator of Kentucky, Republican Rand Paul, has released a budget proposal, which would, among other things, fold the Department of Energy (DOE) into the Department of Defense. The DOE oversees domestic energy production, nuclear materials, and the research and development of energy technologies.

In the past decade, campaign donors connected to the industries that the DOE has jurisdiction over gave millions to both Republicans and Democrats, but directed more than two-thirds of the over $147 million in contributions to the GOP. Within individual categories of contributors as defined by the Center for Responsive Politics, Republicans outpaced Democrats in all but one, Independent electric power generators, whose contributions accounted for just over 1% of the whole.

Major multinational oil companies, the group targeted by Obama, gave over three-quarters of the $13.1 million they have contributed to Republicans ($10.1 million). See below for the full list of interest groups and their contributions. (All of the independent legislators in the examined time period caucused with the Democrats, so their numbers are included in the Democrat totals.)

  • Total to all legislators since 2001: $147,500,187
  • Total to all Republican legislators: $97,547,667
  • Total to all Democratic legislators: $49,952,520
Interest Group  Democrats   Republicans   Total  Dem%  Repub% 
Coal mining  $1,931,134  $6,218,829  $8,149,963 24% 76%
Electric Power utilities  $11,016,763  $15,591,435  $26,608,198 41% 59%
Energy production & distribution  $2,640,855  $4,364,160  $7,005,015 38% 62%
Energy, Natural Resources and Environment  $87,330  $102,300  $189,630 46% 54%
Fuel oil dealers  $69,690  $88,600  $158,290 44% 56%
Gas & Electric Utilities  $11,460,690  $12,636,446  $24,097,136 48% 52%
Gasoline service stations  $948,184  $2,227,424  $3,175,608 30% 70%
Independent oil & gas producers  $1,971,674  $8,865,427  $10,837,101 18% 82%
Independent power generation & cogeneration  $1,253,015  $614,376  $1,867,391 67% 33%
Major (multinational) oil & gas producers  $3,000,099  $10,100,258  $13,100,357 23% 77%
Natural Gas transmission & distribution  $2,737,748  $5,500,562  $8,238,310 33% 67%
Nuclear energy  $834,554  $1,254,965  $2,089,519 40% 60%
Nuclear plant cnsrctn, eqpmnt & svcs  $919,568  $1,586,970  $2,506,538 37% 63%
Oil & Gas  $2,641,572  $8,470,101  $11,111,673 24% 76%
Oilfield service, equipment & exploration  $1,441,416  $6,544,639  $7,986,055 18% 82%
Petroleum refining & marketing  $2,474,768  $7,882,114  $10,356,882 24% 76%
Power plant construction & equipment  $1,387,282  $1,669,007  $3,056,289 45% 55%
Rural electric cooperatives  $3,136,178  $3,830,054  $6,966,232 45% 55%
Total  $49,952,520  $97,547,667  $147,500,187 34% 66%

Monetary and non-monetary contributions to candidate campaign committees of legislators serving in the 109th, 110th, 111th and 112th Congresses. Includes reported contributions from Electric Power utilities, Energy production & distribution, Energy, Natural Resources and Environment, Gas & Electric Utilities, Independent power generation & cogeneration, Nuclear energy, Nuclear plant construction, equipment & svcs, Coal mining, Power plant construction & equipment, Major (multinational) oil & gas producers, Oil & Gas, Independent oil & gas producers, Gasoline service stations, Petroleum refining & marketing, Natural Gas transmission & distribution, Oilfield service, equipment & exploration, Rural electric cooperatives, and Fuel oil dealers, from Jan 1. 2001-Nov. 22, 2010. Contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org)

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