Published on Saturday, December 18, 2004 by the Associated Press
Energy Firms Lavish Funds on Inauguration
by Pete Yost
WASHINGTON - More than $4.5 million from the corporate world has flowed to President Bush's inauguration fund, much of it from the energy industry and some of its executives in contributions of $250,000 each.
Outside the energy sector, New Orleans Saints football team owner Tom Benson gave $50,000 and his companies gave $200,000, the fund reported Friday.
Northrop Grumman Corp., the world's largest shipbuilder and second-largest U.S. defense contractor, donated $100,000.
Michael Dell, chairman of Dell Inc., the world's largest personal computer maker, gave $250,000. So did United Technologies, maker products ranging from escalators to aircraft engines.
Investment banking firm Stephens Group Inc. of Little Rock, Ark., gave $250,000. And the education loan firm Sallie Mae gave $250,000.
Occidental Petroleum Corp., whose business stands to benefit from the president's actions concerning Libya, donated $250,000, as did Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company. Exxon Mobil reported record third-quarter profits, thanks to higher prices for oil and natural gas.
In April, Bush took steps to restore normal trade and investment ties with Libya, enabling four American oil companies, including Occidental, to resume commercial activities there after an 18-year absence.
Bush's action was a reward to Moammar Gadhafi for eliminating his most destructive weapons programs.
Other donors from the energy sector included Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, who gave $250,000; and former Enron President Richard Kinder, who left the firm five years before it collapsed and now is CEO of one of the largest energy transportation and storage companies in the country. Kinder also gave $250,000.
Energy provider Southern Co., which owns utility companies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, gave $250,000.
The Nuclear Energy Institute, the policy organization of the nuclear industry, gave $100,000.
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