Climate Change

GOP senators who pushed Trump to ditch Paris deal took over $10 million from big oil

As the backlash over President Trump‘s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement continues to grow, most would agree that the decision didn’t come as much of a surprise given that his stated views on the subject echoes the GOP establishment. But some held out hope that Trump’s daughter Ivanka would sway him to remain, given her vocal support of climate change issues. That didn’t turn out to be the case, and Ivanka was notably absent from the assembly of White House officials were present for the announcement.

Just as Trump’s views on climate change are no secret, so is the influence of the oil, gas, and coal industries over the GOP. That influence was once again made apparent when 22 Republican senators signed a letter to Trump this week urging him to withdraw from the agreement. The senators, whose names include Oklahoma’s James Inhofe and Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, and Rand Paul, have been bought out by fossil fuel interests to the tune of over $10 million.

“We strongly encourage you to make a clean break from the Paris Agreement,” read the letter co-drafted by Inhofe, who once brought a snowball to the Senate floor as proof against climate change.

From the Guardian:

Donations from oil, gas and coal interests to the signatories of the letter are Open Secrets that seemed ready for a new review. A Guardian survey of Federal Elections Commission data organized by the Center for Responsive Politics found that the industries gave a total of $10,694,284 to the 22 senators over the past three election cycles.

Visible donations to Republicans from those industries exceeded donations to Democrats in the 2016 election cycle by a ratio of 15-to-1, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And that does not include so-called dark money passed from oil interests such as Koch industries to general slush funds to re-elect Republicans such as the Senate leadership fund.

Here’s a breakdown of donations to GOP senators from the oil, gas, and coal industries from the past three election cycles, via the Guardian:

James Inhofe, Oklahoma
Oil & gas: $465,950

Coal: $63,600

Total: $529,550

John Barrasso, Wyoming
Oil & gas: $458,466

Coal: $127,356

Total: $585,822

Mitch McConnell, Kentucky
Oil & gas: $1,180,384

Coal: $361,700

Total: $1,542,084

John Cornyn, Texas
Oil & gas: $1,101,456

Coal: $33,050

Total: $1,134,506

Roy Blunt, Missouri
Oil & gas: $353,864

Coal: $96,000

Total: $449,864

Roger Wicker, Mississippi
Oil & gas: $198,816

Coal: $25,376

Total: $224,192

Michael Enzi, Wyoming
Oil & gas: $211,083

Coal: $63,300

Total: $274,383

Mike Crapo, Idaho
Oil & gas: $110,250

Coal: $26,756

Total: $137,006

Jim Risch, Idaho
Oil & gas: $123,850

Coal: $25,680

Total: $149,530

Thad Cochran, Mississippi
Oil & gas: $276,905

Coal: $15,000

Total: $291,905

Mike Rounds, South Dakota
Oil & gas: $201,900

Coal: none

Total: $201,900

Rand Paul, Kentucky
Oil & gas: $170,215

Coal: $82,571

Total: $252,786

John Boozman, Arkansas
Oil & gas: $147,930

Coal: $2,000

Total: $149,930

Richard Shelby, Alabama
Oil & gas: $60,150

Coal: $2,500

Total: $62,650

Luther Strange, Alabama
(Appointed in 2017, running in 2017 special election)

Total: NA

Orrin Hatch, Utah
Oil & gas: $446,250

Coal: $25,000

Total: $471,250

Mike Lee, Utah
Oil & gas: $231,520

Coal: $21,895

Total: $253,415

Ted Cruz, Texas
Oil & gas: $2,465,910

Coal: $103,900

Total: $2,569,810

David Perdue, Georgia
Oil & gas: $184,250

Coal: $0

Total: $184,250

Thom Tillis, North Carolina
Oil & gas: $263,400

Coal: $0

Total: $263,400

Tim Scott, South Carolina
Oil & gas: $490,076

Coal: $58,200

Total: $548,276

Pat Roberts, Kansas
Oil & gas: $388,950

Coal: $28,825

Total: $417,775

Grand total: $10,694,284

Featured image via Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

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