Business

Obama top recipient of BP contributions last 20 yrs.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics and financial disclosures, over the last twenty years of oil-giant BP’s political action committee, the largest recipient has been President Obama.

Erika Lovely from Politico reports:

BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals...

An Obama spokesman rejected the notion that the president took big oil money.

“President Obama didn’t accept a dime from corporate PACs or federal lobbyists during his presidential campaign,” spokesman Ben LaBolt said. “He raised $750 million from nearly four million Americans. And since he became president, he rolled back tax breaks and giveaways for the oil and gas industry, spearheaded a G20 agreement to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, and made the largest investment in American history in clean energy incentives.”

The oil-giant is also a major player in K Street lobbying activities, nearly tripling lobbying-expenditures the past decade. But in another non-shocker, corporate giving from BP has experienced a major shift toward over the past few years:

In 2008 alone, BP gave $37,000 to members of the House Energy Committee and $106,501 to members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which deals with security issues facing the nation’s oil supply…

BP has bulked up its K Street team by signing some of the biggest firms in Washington, several of which employ former Hill staffers with deep-seated ties to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico coast.

Politico’s Lovely closes out with this quote from former Rep. Jim Turner, now a lobbyist for BP with Arnold & Porter:

“First, they are exceedingly competent. Second, they are [Democratic-centric]. I know the first will help enormously in the next few weeks. I am not so sure about the second,” said Republican energy lobbyist Mike McKen­na of MWR Strategies, who predicted that Landrieu would quite likely get “very wide latitude” on the oil issue. “That may not be the case with BP, whose record is a bit more spotty.”