Climate & Energy Blog

Rep. Culberson, Top House Recipient of BP Cash, Criticized for Catering to Big Oil Interests

Posted Jun. 24, 2010 / Posted by: Kelly Trout

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Scott Baumgartner, sbaumgartner@foe.org, 202-222-0751
Kelly Trout, ktrout@foe.org, 202-222-0722

Rep. Culberson, Top House Recipient of BP Cash, Criticized for Catering to Big Oil Interests

Culberson named by Friends of the Earth to list of ‘BP Ten,’ urged to donate campaign contributions to Gulf recovery effort

Washington, D.C. -- As millions of gallons of crude oil continue to hemorrhage daily into the Gulf of Mexico, the environmental watchdog group Friends of the Earth last week launched a campaign to pressure members of Congress, including Representative John Culberson (R-Texas), to donate the cash they’ve received from BP and other oil companies to Gulf Coast recovery efforts.

Rep. Culberson topped the list of House members receiving BP cash. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Rep. Culberson has taken $10,200 from BP and $187,350 from Big Oil in the last two election cycles. In total, Big Oil has spent $48,401,891 to curry favor from politicians in the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.

Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica had the following statement:

“In Rep. Culberson, Big Oil has found a reliable advocate who can be counted on to cosponsor any oil industry friendly bill. The industry’s investment -- more than two and a half times the median income in his home district -- has resulted in Rep. Culberson’s cosponsorship of eight bills in the last two Congresses that would expand offshore drilling.

“Even in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster, Rep. Culberson’s loyalty to Big Oil has been unwavering. Since April 20, he has cosponsored two separate bills that would cut short President Obama’s six-month moratorium on offshore drilling.

“Rep. Culberson exemplifies the overwhelming corporate influence in Washington, which undermines the ability of our government to function in the public interest. Rep. Culberson needs to make clear whether he thinks he’s a representative in an oil-igarchy or a democracy. If he is committed to democracy, he 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 Rep. Culberson and the other four House members and the five senators who have taken the most money from BP in the last few years. They are being urged to contribute the money to organizations like the Gulf Coast Fund, which channels resources directly to impacted communities so they can lead in recovery efforts.

The “BP Ten” are:

House
• John Culberson (R-Texas, $10,200 from BP and $187,350 from Big Oil)
• Ron Paul (R-Texas, $7,300 from BP and $134,132 from Big Oil)
• Charles Rangel (D-N.Y., $6,500 from BP and $40,600 from Big Oil)
• Steny Hoyer (D-Md., $6,000 from BP and $91,800 from Big Oil)
• Don Young (R-Alaska, $5,500 from BP and $45,500 from Big Oil)

Senate
• John McCain (R-Ariz., $36,649 from BP and $2,428,287 from Big Oil)
• Mary Landrieu (D-La., $16,200 from BP and $329,100 from Big Oil)
• Mark Begich (D-Alaska, $8,550 from BP and $85,958 from Big Oil)
• Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska, $8,500 from BP and $223,326 from Big Oil)
• Mitch McConnell (R-Ky., $8,500 from BP and $408,400 from Big Oil)

Source: OpenSecrets.org

More information about the campaign, including graphics and social media tools, is available at: http://www.foe.org/bp-ten.

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/.

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Friends of the Earth and our network of grassroots groups in 77 countries fight to create a more healthy, just world. Our current campaigns focus on clean energy and solutions to global warming, protecting people from toxic and new, potentially harmful technologies, and promoting smarter, low-pollution transportation alternatives.

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