“Mitt Romney returned to Texas oil country Tuesday to fuel his campaign coffers with nearly $7 million raised in just one day, largely with money from top energy industry executives,” according to a report from NBC news yesterday.
At the fundraiser in Houston, while sharing a dais with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson and oil billionaire Harold Hamm, Romney began to talk about the fossil fuel-focused energy plan he will be releasing soon, but then stopped short of explaining the plan because, as the Huffington Post reported, “I know that we have members of the media here right now, so I’m not going to go through that in great detail.”
He might not want to let the public know the details of his energy plan, but judging by the big oil and gas interests that are backing Romney’s candidacy, it’s not too risky to guess that the plan will be a windfall for fossil fuels. Here are some key facts about Romney’s oil and gas money:
- In the 2012 cycle so far, Romney’s campaign has taken in $2,157,484 in direct contributions from the oil and gas industry, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. His Vice Presidential pick, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), has received $247,150 from the industry during his time in Congress. This is only part of the story, though. As the New York Times reports, this week Romney "pulled in nearly $10 million in oil money: $6 million to $7 million Tuesday from two fund-raisers in Texas (in Houston and Midland), and $2 million at a fund-raiser Wednesday in Little Rock, Ark."
- Harold Hamm, the chairman and president of Continental Resources, Inc., which describes itself as “America’s Oil Champion,” was on stage with Romney at the fundraiser. Romney named Hamm as his top energy advisor in March, 2012—giving him a unique position to help shape Romney’s energy policy to protect the tax breaks and preferential treatment his industry enjoys—and only a month later, Hamm gave $985,000 to Restore Our Future, the Romney-aligned super PAC.
- Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, the top oil industry trade association, is reportedly being considered by Mitt Romney for top administration positions like chief of staff.
- Restore Our Future has received $4 million in contributions from Bill Koch, his oil, gas, and coal company Oxbow Carbon, and its subsidiary Huron Carbon. Bill Koch’s more famous brothers David and Charles Koch have their own shadow campaign that is planning to raise $400 million to defeat President Barack Obama.
With backing like this, it’s no surprise that Romney supports policies that will disproportionately benefit the oil and gas industry—home to some of the most profitable corporations in world history.