Senators to Obama: Leave Oil Subsidies Alone!

On Thursday, a handful of Senators wrote a letter to President Obama that stated, “as you continue your negotiations, we urge you to remember the oil and gas industry is part of the solution.” Or, in other words, don’t single out big oil companies and their taxpayer subsidies as a way to reduce the deficit.

These nine Senators—six Republicans and three Democrats—have received $7.1 million in oil and gas industry cash during their career in Congress, according to our analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

In fact, Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) are the top two and three recipients, respectively, of oil and gas money in Congress. Only Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), boosted by a presidential bid, has received more.

Senator

Career Oil and Gas Money

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)

$2,233,475

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)

$1,809,300

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.)

$991,785

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)

$830,894

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)

$487,360

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)

$355,200

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)

$229,485

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska)

$144,255

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)

$57,700

Total:

$7,139,454

Ending oil subsidies didn’t make it into the tentative default deal reached over the weekend, but as Congress looks to create a commission to enact further deficit reduction measures, it’ll be important to watch what influence Big Oil and other industries will exert on the process.