Mitch McConnell Pushes Hand Out to Big Oil Donors

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Press release from Energy Action Coalition and Public Campaign Action Fund

Washington, D.C.—Energy Action Coalition and Public Campaign Action Fund blasted Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) today for his legislation, S. 953, that would dramatically expand offshore oil drilling in the country, another handout to his Big Oil donors, just weeks after his push to gut the Clean Air Act and a day after he voted against ending subsidies for big oil companies.

Sen. McConnell and his leadership political action committee (PAC) have received at least $948,000 in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests during his time in Congress, according to Public Campaign Action Fund analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

“Sen. McConnell seems more focused on his Big Oil donors than seriously addressing our nation’s energy crisis,” said Courtney Hight, co-director of Energy Action Coalition. “Expanding drilling won’t lower gas prices, but it’ll definitely raise his fundraising numbers.”

Sen. McConnell’s campaign committee has received at least $879,000 from oil and gas industries during his time in Congress. His leadership PAC, Bluegrass Committee, has received at least $69,000 from oil and gas interests. Major industry donors include the employees and PACs of Koch Industries, BP, and ExxonMobil.

“Mitch McConnell knows a special interest money gusher when he sees one, and that’s exactly what his legislation will do: help his Big Oil fundraising,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for Public Campaign Action Fund. “He’s working for Big Oil in Washington, not everyday Kentuckians or everyday Americans.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) has also supported these measures, after taking $104,940 in oil and gas industry campaign cash in his 2010 election, including $17,000 from the PAC and employees of energy giant Koch Industries.

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Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonprofit watchdog group working to improve America's election laws and to hold elected officials accountable.

Energy Action Coalition is a coalition of 50 youth-led environmental and social justice groups working together to build the youth clean energy and climate movement.