Oil and Gas Lobbying on Capitol Hill up a Whopping 57% in 2008

Tue, 2009-03-17 13:04Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Oil and Gas Lobbying on Capitol Hill up a Whopping 57% in 2008

Spending by oil and gas companies lobbying politicians on Capitol Hill jumped a whopping 57% between 2007 and 2008.

The oil and gas sector paid out a total of $128.6 million in 2008, compared to only $82 million in 2007. According to research we compiled using OpenSecrets.org’s database, this is an unprecedented rise in US lobbyist expenditures by the oil and gas sector.

In terms of lobbyist expenditures, the top 5 companies accounted for $72.6 million of this spending in 2008. In the year previous the top 5 spent only $38.76 million - a 53% increase in spending in a single year.

Here’s a breakdown of the lobbying expenditures by top 5 oil and gas companies:

1. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) - spent $29 million in 2008, up from $16.9 milion in 2007.


(click image to enlarge)

2. Koch Industries Inc. - spent $15 million in 2008, up from $4.3 million in 2007


If you’ve never heard of Koch Industries Inc., you can check out a profile on the company that we’ve compiled here: Koch Industries Inc.

3. BP America (NYSE: BP) - spent $10.45 million in 2008, up from $4.6 million in 2007


4. Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) - spent $9.8 million in 2008, up from $8.9 million in 2007


5. Conoco Phillips (NYSE: COP) - spent $8.4 million in 2008, up from $4 million in 2007


One Washington, DC insider says this unprecedented rise in lobbying activity is due the oil and gas industry feeling that they’re in an “end game” with Congress considering a nationwide cap and trade policy and President Barack Obama turning his attention to alternative energy policies:

“This is an endgame for an industry that has fought tooth and nail for the better part of decade to ward off federal climate change and renewable energy policy. They’re backed in the corner and there are lobbyists totally infesting the backrooms on Capitol Hill at the moment. This is an unbelievably powerful lobby and they’re going all out.”

In late February of this year the Center for Public Integrity released a report finding that:

“Senate lobbying disclosure forms shows that more than 770 companies and interest groups hired an estimated 2,340 lobbyists to influence federal policy on climate change in the past year, as the issue gathered momentum and came to a vote on Capitol Hill. That’s an increase of more than 300 percent in the number of lobbyists on climate change in just five years, and means that Washington can now boast more than four climate lobbyists for every member of Congress.”

This month we’re giving away FREE copies Keith Farnish’s new book Times Up: an uncivilized solution to a global crisis.

Go here to find out more details about DeSmogBlog’s monthly book give-away.

Previous Comments

As can be seen, the test of time has shown that the Esso / Exxon tiger has not changed its stripes! See this earlier DeSmogBlog report Exxon caught with fingers crossed, new report 

Lobbying is clearly good value, or they wouldn’t do it. So what do these companies expect for their money? And it is a lot of money!

Presumably the jump in 2008 is explained by concern at the prospect of a Democrat in the Whitehouse. As the following would appear to support.


Exxon has long seen the writing on the wall, they’ve had ample time to get ready for a carbon free world and they have no-one to blame but themselves!


Every good magician knows that the key to success is misdirecting the audience. You have to draw everyone’s attention away from your ultimate goal in order to perform the trick. Politics is no different, and one of the greatest misdirections in recent memory has been pulled off by the fossil fuel industry.

While most of the environmental movement was (rightfully) focusing attention on stopping the Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline from crossing over one of the most vital aquifers in the U.S., the dirty energy industry was quietly building a network of...

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