Drilling for Dollars

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Remember our old pal Tom DeLay? Though he’s been out of Congress for quite a few months now, his influence and backroom dealings live on, according to a new report by Public Citizen released today.


Taxpayers will soon be footing the bill for a billion dollar research project that the oil and gas industries got slipped into the 2005 energy bill. The companies didn’t want to foot the bill themselves, so they got a provision in that would get the government to pay for it. In July 2005, when the bill was all but signed, four leaders from the conference committee slipped in a provision benefiting the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA)—a gas industry consortium.


The four leaders, including DeLay and and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), had received $325,000 in political contributions from RPSEA members between the 2000 and 2004 election cycles. Oh, and one more thing, the research program was going to be based in Sugar Land, Texas—right in the middle of DeLay’s district.


Read Public Citizen’s report to find out exactly how this happened.