DATA RELEASE: Big Oil Gave $134K To Each Senator Voting 'No' On Energy Bill

BERKELEY, CA, June 10, 2008 - Today, the US Senate voted against the energy bill (S.3044 – Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008). According to Reuters, “the energy package would revoke $17 billion in tax breaks extended to big oil companies like Exxon Mobil Corp and slap a 25 percent windfall profits tax on firms that don’t invest in new energy sources.” MAPLight.org’s research team revealed that oil producers gave an average of $134,821 to each of the 43 senators that voted no and an average of $37,373 to each of the 51 senators that voted yes. (See Methodology below)

The 6 Republicans that broke with their party by voting yes got an average of $64,362 from oil producers, a stark contrast to the average of $134,719 given to each of the 41 Republicans that voted no.

Two Democrats broke with their party by voting no, Majority Leader Harry Reid - (NV)* and Mary Landrieu (LA). Senator Landrieu received $304,450 from the oil producers, while Reid received $38,350. Landrieu’s total is the second highest received by Senate Democrats (after Clinton), and the 6th highest overall.

Clinton, Obama and McCain did not vote on the bill.

Methodology:

For our analysis, we looked at money given to senators who voted on this bill by industries involved in oil production, as defined by the Center for Responsive Politics. These industries include:

  • Major (multi-national) oil & gas producers
  • Independent oil producers
  • Petroleum refining and marketing industry

The contribution data is from January 1, 2001 to March 31, 2008. (includes both PAC and individual contributions)

*Reid, according to the NY Times, “may have voted ‘no’ in a parliamentary move to preserve his right to bring up the proposal again.”

For a detailed look, MAPLight.org’s research department customized a link that depicts contributions given by oil producers only:

EnergyBill

MAPLight.org believes including data about how supporters and opponents lobbied legislators through campaign contributions to news stories about legislative voting outcomes adds a layer of depth and realism to political news coverage.

Who We Are:

MAPLight.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that provides unprecedented government transparency shining a light on our broken system of money-dominated politics. We track all campaign contributions given to members of Congress, and how every member of Congress votes on every bill, revealing connections between money and politics never before possible to see. Our concise graphs show correlations between money and votes, and timelines of contributions and votes, showing specifics about when legislators received large donations before and after a vote.

About MAPLight.org:

MAPLight.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Berkeley,California. Its search engine at MAPLight.org illuminates the connection between Money And Politics (MAP) via an unprecedented database of campaign contributions and legislative outcomes. Data sources include: GovTrack.us; Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org); Federal Election Commission (FEC); and National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP). Support and opposition data is obtained through testimony at public hearings, proprietary news databases and public statements on the websites of trade associations and other groups. To learn more visit MAPLight.org. If our work has been helpful to you, please consider supporting us.

Media Contact

Pamela Behrsin
Communications
Office: (510) 868-0894
pamela@maplight.org