New Report: House Energy Committee’s Close Ties to Energy Industry Interests

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Washington, D.C.—As the Energy and Power Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee begins hearings today on legislation to weaken the EPA and Clean Air Act, a new report from Public Campaign Action Fund shows close ties between energy interests and committee members.

"Energy interests spent big in 2010 to get their preferred candidates elected to office, and we are seeing an early return on that investment," said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for Public Campaign Action Fund. “Decisions to protect public health should be made without regard to campaign cash from oil and coal interests. Sadly that's apparently not the case.”

Key facts from the report:

  • Members of the Energy and Power Subcommittee have received $12.2 million in campaign contributions from oil & gas, coal, and electric utilities industries during their time in Congress.
  • Republicans on the Energy and Power Subcommittee have received, on average, nearly $100,000 more in campaign cash from the oil and gas industry than their Democratic counterparts.
  • Subcommittee Chair Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) has benefitted from $218,333 in campaign contributions from the sectors the committee represents during his time in Congress. Three of his former aides now work as lobbyists for firms that include energy companies.
  • Koch Industries, and the organizations they support, have close ties to subcommittee members, providing campaign contributions and money to organizations that ran attack ads on their behalf in 2010.

Today, the committee will hold a hearing on the “Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011,” legislation that would strip the EPA of some of its rule making ability and weaken the Clean Air Act. This report shows that committee members have received millions in campaign cash from energy interests that would benefit from this legislation and these members have close ties industry lobbyists.

The full report is available online at http://campaignmoney.org/reports/guttingcleanair. The report includes Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

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Public Campaign Action Fund works to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations. Learn more at www.campaignmoney.org.