Senate GOP to Unveil Legislation Giving Big Oil ‘Christmas in July’

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Senate Republicans plan to introduce a collection of legislation on Thursday that reads like a “Christmas in July” wish list come true for big oil and gas companies.

According to The Hill, Republican aides say Sen. John Hoeven’s (R-N.D.) legislation will “require expanded onshore oil-and-gas leasing, allow drilling off Virginia’s coast, and approve the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.”

It’s no surprise, of course, that Republican Senators are doing the work of Big Oil—industry money has been flowing into their campaign coffers like crude from a gushing oil derrick.

  • Oil and gas is among the top giving industries for all four of the legislation’s sponsors that were listed, according to analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics:

     - Lead sponsor Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.): number one industry, $272,849
     - Cosponsor Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.): number two industry, $540,216
     - Cosponsor Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska): number three industry, $615,439
     - Cosponsor and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): number six industry, $1,300,511.

  • In the 2012 cycle, the oil and gas industry has backed Republican Senate candidates over Democrats at a rate of $4.6 million to $768,000—a six-to-one advantage for the GOP.
  • Sen. Hoeven counts the employees and PACs of four different oil companies among his top 25 donor organizations since his first campaign in 2010: Hess Corporation ($21,600), Koch Industries ($17,400), Devon Energy ($17,100), and Marathon Oil ($15,210).
  • Koch Industries, owned by billionaire oil tycoons Charles and David Koch, is also a big donor to Sens. McConnell ($80,050), Barrasso ($40,000), and Murkowski ($40,200).