Energy lobbyists fueling campaign coffers?

A day after a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on legislation that would gut some important provisions of the Clean Air Act, POLITICO reports this morning that energy lobbyists are “scrambling to win over the newbie lawmakers with finely tuned talking points, briefing books — and of course, campaign contributions for Republicans, some of whom already are facing tough races just two years out.”

And according to a report we released yesterday the “campaign contributions” part started early, with House freshmen raking in cash from energy interests in 2010.

The report, which focused on the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (the subcommittee that held the hearing) shows that freshmen members of the subcommittee raked in campaign cash from the industry in 2010:

Member

Oil & Gas

Coal & Electric Utilities

Cory Gardner (R-Colo.)

$154,174

$9,000

Morgan Griffith (R-Va.)

$17,400

$16,000

David McKinley (R-W.Va.)

$18,450

$18,701

Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.)

$184,700

$5,500

Three of these members also benefitted from spending by Koch Industries-funded groups Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity last year. Koch Industries, a major energy company, and its owners are noted climate change deniers. Rep. Pompeo hired a Koch industries lawyer as his chief of staff. And last June, Rep. Garder even attended a fundraiser hosted by a BP lobbyist and the Koch political action committee.

The Committee on Natural Resources, which also handles energy issues, also has a few freshmen fueled by energy interests. According to the POLITICO report, “On Natural Resources, Republican Reps. Bill Flores of Texas has raised $175,728 and Jeff Landry of Louisiana, $71,200.”

As we’ve noted before, the friction between these “anti-Washington” lawmakers and the traditional Washington power structures will be interesting to watch. These people got elected to “change” Washington, but they still have to rely on the same big donors and lobbyists as everyone else does to raise enough money to get re-elected.

Note: All campaign finance data comes from the Center for Responsive Politics.