All Presidential Candidates Should Return Oil Industry’s “Dirty Money,” Says Watchdog Group
Santa Monica, CA — Rudy Giuliani is far ahead of the rest of the presidential pack in contributions from the oil and gas industry, netting $536,708 to date, more than the total of the next two top recipients, Mitt Romney at $291,033 and Hillary Clinton at $211,043.
“With the price oil heading toward $100 a barrel and prices at the pump headed back to $3.00 a gallon, politicians should be treating Big Oil’s contributions as dirty money,” said Judy Dugan, research director of OilWatchdog.org and its parent organization, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.
“Americans can’t afford politicians, especially a president, indebted to the oil industry.”
The contribution data, from election watchdog OpenSecrets.org, shows the oil and gas industry giving nearly $1.5 million to the industry’s top five recipients, also including John McCain and Bill Richardson. Richardson is governor of New Mexico, an oil producing state. (See more candidate contributions on front page of www.OilWatchdog.org.)
Giuliani, however, has the closest ties to oil industry figures, developed since he was mayor of New York.
His law firm, Houston-based Bracewell & Giuliani, has lobbied Texas legislators on behalf of Citgo Petroleum Corp., a Texas-based oil company ultimately controlled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The firm also has worked on behalf of Saudi Arabia’s oil ministry in a Texas court case, and its other legal clients include ChevronTexaco; BMB Munai, a developer of oil wells in Kazakhstan, and Statoil, a Norway-based oil and gas conglomerate.
Giuliani Partners, the former mayor’s consulting business co-founded with Texas GOP fund-raiser Ray Bailey, held contracts to advise Entergy (a leading U.S. nuclear power plant operator) and Broadwater Energy, which hopes to build a liquefied-natural-gas terminal in New York’s Long Island Sound. Oilman T. Boone Pickens is a Giuliani fund-raiser. A Time Magazine article in March called Giuliani an “honorary Texas oil lawyer.”
Valero Energy, the largest North American oil refiner, has been a client of Bracewell & Giuliani and gave more than $14,000 to Giuliani’s campaign. And Giuliani has advised TransCanada Corp. and Shell Oil Co. on a plan to place a 1,215-foot-long barge on Long Island Sound to store liquefied natural gas.
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In just the last quarter, Giuliani received more than $10,000, according to Federal Election Commission data, in donations linked to a Swiss-based oil refiner, Petroplus, that has been expanding rapidly.
The industry’s resistance on climate change, indifference to renewable fuels and profiteering at the gas pump has put oil money in the same class as tobacco money,” said Dugan. “Returning these contributions would be the best signal by any candidate that he or she is really on the side of the consumer and the environment.”
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