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ENVIRONMENT

Major Oil Companies Bankroll Paris Accord Bill Opponents By 3-to-1 Margin

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through central Paris (and other french towns) on Saturday calling on the French government and the international community to do more to tackle climate change.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through central Paris (and other french towns) on Saturday calling on the French government and the international community to do more to tackle climate change. October 13, 2018. (Photo: Jeanne Menjoulet)

A MapLight analysis of Federal Election Campaign data found that 65 House members who opposed the measure received $268,965 from the 10 largest oil and gas companies in the U.S. since the beginning of the year.

(By Frank Bass, MapLight) House members who opposed a measure to block the Trump administration from abandoning an international agreement to mitigate climate change received three times more money from the nation’s major oil and gas companies than the bill’s supporters.

The Climate Action Now Act, passed last week by the House in a 231-190 vote, would bar the U.S. from pulling out of the 2016 Paris Agreement, the landmark accord that seeks to limit global temperature increases tied to greenhouse gas emissions. President Donald Trump announced in June 2017 that the U.S. would withdraw from the agreement. The bill would require the Trump administration to submit an annual plan for complying with the agreement, including a 26 to 28 percent reduction from 2005 greenhouse gas emission levels.

A MapLight analysis of Federal Election Campaign data found that 65 House members who opposed the measure received $268,965 from the 10 largest oil and gas companies in the U.S. since the beginning of the year. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has received $35,300 from the fossil fuel giants since the start of the 2019-20 election cycle — the most of any lawmaker. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., received $8,500 from the oil and gas companies, the most of any cosponsor. Twenty-five supporters of the legislation received a total of $78,850 from the oil and gas companies, according to FEC data.

Marathon Petroleum Corp. contributed $131,000 to lawmakers who didn’t support the bill, more than any of the top 10 U.S. companies. The Findlay, Ohio-based oil company, which publishes an annual report on the risks and opportunities presented by climate change, gave $16,750 to seven supporters of the legislation.

ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil and gas company, gave $43,750 to 20 supporters of the climate bill, as well as $75,500 to 34 members who declined to support the measure. The Irving, Texas-based giant has vehemently denied reports that its scientists knew about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions for a half-century and took no action.

The House climate bill, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., can now be considered by the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., however, has promised “this futile gesture to handcuff the U.S. economy through the ill-fated Paris deal will go nowhere here in the Senate.”


Methodology:The MapLight analysis considered 2019-20 election cycle donations by the 10 largest U.S. energy companies and their employees, ranked by market capitalization as of May 7, 2019. The companies include Exxon Mobil Corp. ($324.6 billion); Chevron Corp. ($225.3 billion); ConocoPhillips ($68.9 billion); EOG Resources Inc. ($53.3 billion); Occidental Petroleum Corp. ($44.7 billion); Marathon Petroleum Corp. ($40 billion); Phillips 66 ($39.3 billion) Anadarko Petroleum Corp. ($38.1 billion); Valero Energy Corp. ($35.2 billion); and Pioneer Natural Resources Co. ($24.9 billion).

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