As of April, the oil and gas industry had already spent over $34 million to influence American politics this year. Fossil fuel companies are one of the top sources of funding for Washington lobbying firms, and their deep pockets allow them to far outspend those who seek to protect the environment and the earth’s resources from exploitation.
The figures come from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization working “to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry and a more transparent and responsive government.” According to their data, lobbying from the energy sector topped $141 million last year. The top single corporate spender was Koch Industries, Inc., which spent $13.8 million in lobbying, followed by Exxon Mobil and Occidental Petroleum, one of the country’s top oil producers.
The center’s overview of oil and gas funding suggests that while both parties receive funding from the oil and gas industry, that money has increasingly flowed to the GOP for the last two decades, with 90 percent going toward Republicans during the 2012 election cycle.