Guest Post: Big Oil Funding U.S. Politics

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Daniel J. Graeber of,

U.S. Rep. John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, received nearly twice as much financial support from donors tied to the energy sector than did the next-closest recipient, a report from the National Wildlife Federation finds. The 20-page report highlights the role it says oil companies play in U.S. politics, stating energy companies are working behind the scenes on Capitol Hill to influence legislation in favour of oil, natural gas and coal policies. The NWF report finds that the current 112th U.S. Congress has voted one out of every five times against legislation drafted in favour of environmental issues.
Boehner, R-Ohio, in a press conference this week, spoke out against a stagnant unemployment climate in the United States. The U.S. Labour Department, in an early September report, showed the unemployment rate dropped slightly in August to 8.1 percent, down 0.2 percent from its July level. That's the 43rd consecutive month, however, that the unemployment rate was above 8 percent, the longest period since World War II. The House speaker said this was a sign of President Barack Obama's failure to lead.
On Friday, Boehner led the House of Representatives in passing the so-called Stop the War on Coal Act, a measure that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. It's unlikely to pass through the Senate.
"We’re the Saudi Arabia of coal and the president wants to shut down coal production and the use of coal in the United States so that we can export it to our economic competitors around the world," said Boehner in a statement. It's a jobs issue, he said.
The report from the NWF, released on the eve of the House vote, finds that Oxbow Corp., a private company focused on mining and marketing of coal, natural gas and petroleum, donated more than $80,000 to Boehner's campaign since 2010. The NWF explains that Oxbow was founded by William Koch, whose twin billionaire brothers are among the largest corporate financiers of the U.S. Congress. According to information NWF gathered from The Center for Responsive Politics, energy companies like Oxbow gave more than $814,000 to Boehner's campaign during the current Congress.
The NWF's report, however, is non-partisan in its effort to showcase the energy sector's monetary influence over U.S. politics. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, ranked No. 2 on the NWF's list. Manchin, ahead of Friday's vote in the House, said it was clear that "the EPA has overstepped its bounds" in terms of action that could target the coal industry. Of the top 10 lawmakers listed in the NWF report, however, Manchin is the only Democrat and received $480,050 compared to Boehner's $814,060.
The NWF states that the House of Representatives, led by Boenher and his fellow Republicans, voted 109 times since the start of 2011 to weaken environmental laws or some of the safety regulations in the oil industry.
Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the NWF, said the report provides a "behind the curtains" look into U.S. politics.
"America has been losing ground in the climate fight, and much of this is due to gridlock within our political system," he writes. "The resulting inertia is sustained by oil, gas, and coal companies that have spent more than a billion dollars on campaign contributions, public advertising, and lobbying in the past two years alone."

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Tue, 10/02/2012 - 15:32 | 2849377 redpill
redpill's picture

Is there such a thing as "small oil" anymore?


Tue, 10/02/2012 - 15:41 | 2849399 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Yes, but it's use is exclusively reserved to precede the words "leak" or "spill".

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 15:47 | 2849451 LMAOLORI
Tue, 10/02/2012 - 15:56 | 2849501 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Good thing "Big Gold" lobbies for Constitutional monie...

Oh wait....

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 15:58 | 2849505 Manthong
Manthong's picture

I presume that the National Wildlife Association is all about the welfare of animals like the National Education Association is all about the welfare of children.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 16:09 | 2849542 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Big oil must be scared the magic negro will nationalize them after the election.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 16:15 | 2849560 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Get real.  He does what the money asks him to do. 

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 16:24 | 2849571 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

Just got back from Germany and talked to people there about this issue.  They have the equivealent of 20 nuclear power plants worth of solar power.  We on the other hand, lead the world in in big oil advertising against solar and renewable energy (153 million a year, enough for quite a few solar plants).

But of course, climate change is a hoax, like evolution...  Poor US.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 16:27 | 2849600 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

$814k to buy a Boner and all they got was a lousy politician. It's a crying shame I tell ya...

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 17:29 | 2849794 johnberesfordti...
johnberesfordtiptonjr's picture

The sun a source of energy? 

Why that's ridiculous!

If this were true, it would be all over the TV. 


Tue, 10/02/2012 - 17:56 | 2849881 General Decline
General Decline's picture

Just Googled " Sun" and they said I was the source of skin cancer. We must destroy the Sun!!!

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 19:45 | 2850165 SaveTheBales
SaveTheBales's picture

Oh now you've done it.

Do you know what THAT shit is going to cost me?

Please stop giving them ideas

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 17:56 | 2849884 PivotalTrades
PivotalTrades's picture

The earth has been around for 4.5 billion years. Fact. In that time there have been at least 20 Ice ages where at least  30 % of the earth was covered by glaciers. Fact. Man has only been recording temperatures for the last 100 years. Any stat 101 student would tell you that the sample data needed to get any statistical meaning from 4.5 billion years would be greater than 100,000 data samples. Not to mention that the data sample that we have are just for the last 100 years. In that time frame the amount of man made CO2 has increased exponentialy year after year yet average temperature has not. Mankind is much more threatend by the next ice age, which according to the knuckle heads like you will be caused by global warming.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 18:05 | 2849909 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Do you practice at being a shill or did it come naturally...

Your argument is flawed but I think that you don't care that it is...

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 20:16 | 2850251 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Big Oil buys politicians.  I wonder if they buy scientists?

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 21:23 | 2850477 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Would you like for me to provide a list?

You can start with Lindzen at MIT....

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 19:39 | 2850139 Variance Doc
Variance Doc's picture

It is almost impossible you're that dumb.


Nature is far too complex and clever to be described by CO2 or temperature probe readings alone.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 22:52 | 2850708 Augustus
Augustus's picture

I don't understand the controversy over the energy company donations.

Why would anyone expect the industry to support the Obamacon policies of making energy costs skyrocket.  All because of some religious conviction that there is a Mother Earth.  Dems have practically shut down mining, have regulated over 100 paid for power plants into closing, refused to allow transportation pipelines to be constructed, and are attempting to end the development of the shale gas reserves. 

I like low cost electricity and oil and gas.  I don't want some idealogue to have their Boot on the Throat of the companies which deliver it for me.

The entire CO2 connection is the greatest fraud of all time.  Terribly expensive nonsense that will reverse 100 years of economic progress.  The avowed plan to reduce US energy consumption by 80% by year 2050 would reduce the country to a living standard of Haiti.  Thanks Obama.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 23:27 | 2850785 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Looks like a troll wondered in....

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 18:21 | 2849951 meghaljani
meghaljani's picture

Germany is building 17 coal and 29 gas fired plant. May be solar power hoax is not working quite well for Germany.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 18:29 | 2849965 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Could it be that they are planning on dropping their nukes ASAP? Naw, it couldn't be that, could it?

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 18:35 | 2849984 meghaljani
meghaljani's picture

Have fun replacing nukes with solar power. 

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 18:46 | 2850014 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Where did I say or imply that?

Could it be that the coal and NG plants are to replace the nukes? Or did your logic fail you on that point?

By the measure of turning useless fiat into real infrastructure, the German solar plan has been a stunning success...

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 20:18 | 2850257 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

If Germany produces enough solar energy as 20 nuke plants, then I'd say Germany has already reduced their nuke plants.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 21:54 | 2850542 Carl Spackler
Carl Spackler's picture

Luckily, Seattle is not in Germany.  Otherwise, Microsoft and all its employees would have to move to the Mojave Desert to run its server network and businesses !

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 17:52 | 2849865 Cow
Cow's picture

Which magic Negro? Barack or Maxine?



Tue, 10/02/2012 - 21:13 | 2850428 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Yeah!  It SUCKS that the funding of everything must take place within the established money system, which axiomatically destroys whatever is being funded. Therefore, none of the envirornmental groups, that are big enough, can be trusted anymore, precisely for that reason.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 18:33 | 2849977 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture



Mr. Lennon I don't understand why anyone would junk you for that comment.  Oh well here's another interesting tidbit no conflict of interest here hahaha

Matt Damon’s Anti-Fracking Movie Financed by Oil-Rich Arab Nation

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 15:57 | 2849502 SMG
SMG's picture

The same Global Elite Oligarchy control "big" everything.   Oil, Media, Banking and Finance, Food, etc, even "big " politics.   Big Oil is but a tentacle, of the giant vampire squid that runs the world. 

People have to wake up and the entire system must be changed and decentralized, or prepared to ruled for eternity peasants.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 17:23 | 2849772 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

It always seems like a sci fi novel to me. Ultimately, the powers would go global and use lots of technical tricks to spy, lie and fry any elected puppet who didn't do their bidding 

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 16:40 | 2849652 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

So, he got paid to blow the well?

Just as I thought.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 16:02 | 2849513 Translational Lift
Translational Lift's picture

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the NWF, said the report provides a "behind the curtains" look into U.S. politics.


And how much does NWF spend on lobbying...........???

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 16:18 | 2849557 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

National Wildlife Federation Action is a left-leaning political action committee aimed at providing resources "to hold their elected officials accountable to protecting wildlife for our children's future." It has raised money exclusively in support of Democrats running for political office.

Total Independent Expenditures: $277,931
For Democrats: $248,312
Against Democrats: $0
For Republicans: $0
Against Republicans: $29,619
Total Electioneering Communications: $0

All $248,312 went to Democrat Martin Heinrich, New Mexico Congressman.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 17:34 | 2849808 Beam Me Up Scotty
Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Nice info. Not like they don't have a political agenda either. How about we start with John Kerry allowing that wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts. And how about Al Gore sells all his mansions and personal jet and moves into a cardboard box.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 17:56 | 2849880 Translational Lift
Translational Lift's picture

Big Environmental spent $75mm +/- on lobbying from 2009-12

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 18:31 | 2849971 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Well they sure the fuck got nowhere the return that the TBTF and fossil fuel interests got for their donations....


Oh yeah, your number is utter builshit....

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 20:04 | 2850207 Bwahaha WAGFDSMB
Bwahaha WAGFDSMB's picture

Adding up the years 2009-2012 on the website he linked I get 74m.  Not utter bullshit, but misleading when presented out of context.

Electric utilities spent 77m lobbying in 2012 alone.  Oil and gas companies spent 71m in 2012.  They spent about twice that much in each of the previous 4 years.

The environmental lobby is tiny compared to other sectors.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 17:25 | 2849778 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

leak spill and olive

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 16:24 | 2849586 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Willie Nelsons homemade biodiesel.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 16:38 | 2849641 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Watch Out!

Spam Below!

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 16:32 | 2849619 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Yes, it happens on teenagers faces.

The spread from that level to the next above is an unimaginable chasm.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 17:14 | 2849749 sangell
sangell's picture

And there is no such thing as 'Big Oil' in this idiots article! Unless you think some outfit called Oxbow Corp is big oil and that $80,000 to John Boehner is big money. Hell the National Wildlife Federation probably spent 10 times that to prevent the "National Wrestling Federation from using the acronym NWF on its TV show!

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 18:11 | 2849926 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


And there is no such thing as 'Big Oil' in this idiots article!

Exactly. The article is an execrable piece of crap on the roadside. The headline portends another bilious diatribe against "big oil". It then goes off on a tangent to report the obvious: the Koch brothers, whose stinky fingers also happen to be in coal, buy politicians.

If this is the "quality" of writing one can expect from, it won't be long before AnAnonymous is writing for them.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 18:20 | 2849947 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Hence the term Koch-suckers...

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 18:19 | 2849942 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The integrity of the Panda must be maintained....

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 17:32 | 2849804 LeisureSmith
LeisureSmith's picture

Selective enforcement Bitchez.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 19:51 | 2850178 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

No...but there is "my name is small oil and I'm now a billionaire because of stupid big oil." T Boone Pickens is one name you can Google. He's happier than a pig in shit given the soaring price of nat gas. Dollars to donuts he endows a chairman of an Econ Department at his favorite University in Oklahoma as a consequence of certain "volatility issues" related to said "thingy." (a profession you all call a pathetic joke btw.) if he was really smart who tell the students to take the attending it! The other guy is Harold Hamm. He was the proverbial "crazy rich guy" buying up shale deposits in North Dakota back in the 90's when "the goo was worthless." why it's worth so much now is a darn good question

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 15:32 | 2849378 HappyCamper
HappyCamper's picture

Good!  Who wants $10 oil and a wrecked economy?  That's right, Obama in his 2nd term.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 15:33 | 2849386 LULZBank
LULZBank's picture

The "force" is strong with this one.

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 15:48 | 2849458 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

If I am going to be involved in such a dialectic I will point out there is no such thing as clean coal.

"Clean coal" is like healthy HFCS.

Drink your Gatorade.

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