Campaign Launched to Force 'BP Ten' and Others in Congress to Give Up Dirty Oil Cash
Posted Jun. 17, 2010 / Posted by: Nick Berning
For Immediate Release
Campaign Launched to Force ‘BP Ten’ and Other Officials Tainted by Oil Cash to Give It to Gulf Recovery Effort
Friends of the Earth’s campaign targets underlying problem that led to Gulf spill: the undue influence of oil companies in Washington
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, as BP's CEO, Tony Hayward, was set to testify about the devastating oil disaster his firm caused in the Gulf of Mexico, the environmental watchdog group Friends of the Earth launched a campaign to pressure members of Congress to unload the cash they’ve received from BP and other oil companies.
“We all know money talks, and in the last two election cycles alone, the oil and gas industries spent $48,401,891 to curry influence in Washington. Congress has been corrupted by this dirty money,” said Friends of the Earth’s president, Erich Pica. “This corruption has inhibited the transition to clean energy and produced the dangerous drilling policies that led to the disaster in the Gulf. Each and every member of Congress who has accepted this tainted money is part of the problem. All elected officials who have taken oil money should turn it over to organizations doing recovery work in the Gulf.”
“Corporate influence in Washington has become so overwhelming that the ability of our government to function in the public interest is now in question,” Pica added. “Members of Congress need to make clear whether they think they’re representatives in an oil-igarchy or a democracy. If they are committed to democracy, they must give this money back, stop doing corporate polluters’ bidding and start acting in the public interest.”
Friends of the Earth’s campaign applies to all members of Congress who have taken oil money, but will focus in particular on the five House members and five senators who have taken the most money from BP in the last few years. They are being urged to contribute the money to the Gulf Coast Fund to help the Gulf region recover.
The “BP Ten” are:
· John McCain (R-AZ, $36,649 from BP and $2,428,287 from Big Oil since 2006)
· Mary Landrieu (D-LA, $16,200 from BP and $329,100 from Big Oil since 2006)
· Mark Begich (D-AK, $8,550 from BP and $85,958 from Big Oil since 2006)
· Lisa Murkowski (R-AK, $8,500 from BP and $223,326 from Big Oil since 2006)
· Mitch McConnell (R-KY, $8,500 from BP and $408,400 from Big Oil since 2006)
· John Culberson (R-TX, $10,200 from BP and $187,350 from Big Oil since 2006)
· Ron Paul (R-TX, $7,300 from BP and $134,132 from Big Oil since 2006)
· Charles Rangel (D-NY, $6,500 from BP and $40,600 from Big Oil since 2006)
· Steny Hoyer (D-MD, $6,000 from BP and $91,800 from Big Oil since 2006)
· Don Young (R-AK, $5,500 from BP and $45,500 from Big Oil since 2006)
More information about the Gulf Coast Fund, to which Friends of the Earth is urging members of Congress to direct the oil funds they have received, can be found at http://gulfcoastfund.org/.
Climate and Energy,
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