BP’s Back in the Electoral Game

Image by jnxyz, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jnxyz/279713770/sizes/m/in/photostream/">via Flickr</a>.

Three hundred and sixty-four days after the explosion that caused the largest oil spill in US history, BP is back in action in electoral politics. The Hill reports that the company has made generous contributions to a number of House lawmakers and congressional campaign committees, with all but one of those donations going to Republicans:

BP Corp. North America gave $5,000 contributions to [House Speaker John] Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) through its political action committee, according to a campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.

BP’s PAC also gave $5,000 to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Only one Democrat—Rep. Pete Visclosky of Indiana—received a donation ($3,000).

In the wake of the spill, BP’s federal contributions basically stopped; the one check the company did cut to a House member was refused. BP did, however, make some contributions to state-level candidates. Buta year after the spill, it’s apparently acceptable to take BP’s campaign cash once again.

UPDATE: Upton tells The Hill that he plans to return the BP money.


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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.