Photo credit: Abeeeer via Flickr/CC BY
Democrats made a move to remove just some of the billion dollar subsidies from the largest oil companies -- the ones currently announcing sky high profits -- but it was rejected by nearly all Republicans and a few Democrats in the House of Representatives. Curious as to why those politicians were so keen to keep those subsidies in place? You need only follow the money, of course: It turns out that the Representatives who voted to block debate (effectively voting to keep the subsidies in place) received a total of $8.7 million in campaign contributions from the oil companies. On average, each Rep who voted in favor of the subsidies was the recipient of 5 times more oily cash than those who voted nay.
The Center for Responsive Politics has the breakdown:
- House members who voted to continue the subsidies received, on average, five times more money in 2010 from oil and gas interests. Those voting to block debate received $36,066, on average, in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests. Those who voted to begin debate received, on average, $7,192 in campaign contributions from the industry.
- Overall, members that voted to continue the subsidies received more than $8.7 million in campaign contributions from oil and gas interests in 2010 while those opposed raised just $1.2 million.
- 16 of the 18 U.S. House members that received over $100,000 in campaign contributions from the industry in 2010 voted to block debate. One voted to proceed and a second did not vote.
Removing oil subsidies is an important step towards helping cleaner energy sources compete.
In other news, the GOP (and 33 Democrats) succeeded in passing a bill that expands offshore drilling in the House of Reps. All in all, it's been a fun, oily day for Congress.