Thursday, July 08, 2010

Who's got the really big tar balls? How about congress?

Even as more tar balls wash up, Congress is on pace to break its record on oil industry contributions. Samuel P. Jacobs from The Daily Beast has written a comprehensive article on why no one can stop the most uncappable cash spill in politics.

President Obama was so upset about the BP oil spill he announced he was looking for “whose ass to kick.” Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) was moved to ask whether companies with bad safety records should be banned altogether. Even oil-industry friendly Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) called for BP executive Tony Hayward to get his yacht down to the Gulf to help clean up oil.

The air in Washington is full of hostility toward the oil industry these days, the result of the Deepwater Horizon explosion nearly 80 days ago—and BP’s continuing failure to plug the resulting leak. So you’d think all those politicians might be a bit sheepish about collecting campaign checks from the beleaguered industry right about now.

“It’s definitely been challenging at times,” says IPAA’s Dan Naatz. But, he adds, “We haven’t seen anybody walk away from us.” You’d be wrong.  [...]

You should read the rest of this important article here

And here's a chart that lists the congressperson, their party affiliation, chamber, state & amount received from the the oil and gas industry. At the top of the list is Blanche Lincoln, Democratic Senator from Arkansas who has received $286,400.

Finally, here's another chart compiled by the Associated Press that shows how much members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee received in political contributions from oil and gas interests since the beginning of 2009.