'Shakedown' Lawmaker Is Big Oil's Darling in US House
Republican Joe Barton, who accused the White House Thursday of a $20 billion "shakedown" of BP, is the biggest recipient of oil and gas money in the House of Representatives.
The 60-year-old Texas lawmaker, who later apologized for using the word "shakedown," has collected at least $1.7 million in political contributions from oil and gas interests over the past two decades, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Barton, a former oil company consultant, used his seat on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to apologize to BP CEO Tony Hayward and castigate the White House for pressing BP to finance a $20 billion fund for damage claims from its Gulf of Mexico oil spill. He also later retracted his apology to the company.
Barton is not the only panel member to receive oil and gas industry largess. All told, the subcommittee has collected more than $4.2 million from the industry and $90,000 from BP.
Following is a list of campaign contributions Barton and other panel members have collected from political action committees and individuals related to BP and the oil industry at large.
The data was compiled from public disclosure records by the Center for Responsive Politics and dates back to 1989, when the research group began tracking money in U.S. politics.
The numbers, which include contributions to lawmakers' political action committees and campaign committees, are probably understated for longer-serving lawmakers such as Barton, who was first elected to Congress five years before the Center began publishing the figures.
Total Oil Industry Contributions to Republicans
|REPUBLICANS||INDUSTRY MONEY||BP MONEY|
Total Oil Industry Contributions to Democrats
|DEMOCRATS||INDUSTRY MONEY||BP MONEY|
|Bart Stupak||$ 83,850||$ 7,500|