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Federal Contributions from Political Action Committee of Beleaguered Oil Giant BP Slow to a Trickle

Michael Beckel

Oil giant BP's
action committee
didn't spend a penny on federal campaign
contributions during the month of June, according to a Center for
Responsive Politics
review of its latest campaign finance report
filed today.

Nevertheless, the PAC still contributed $27,300 to
candidates. All 80 of these recipients last month were from Indiana.
About 53 percent of the money benefited Indiana Democrats, while 47
percent benefited Indiana Republicans. This sum represents an
increase of 230 percent above the $8,250 in contributions to 10
candidates in California that the PAC made in May.

During June,
the PAC
reported taking in more than $19,800, and it ended the month with
$299,500 in cash on hand. Since January 2009, BP's PAC has donated more
than $79,000 to federal
candidates, by the Center's tally.

Ever since the BP-operated
Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig exploded, sunk and created one
of the largest oil spills in U.S. history in late April, the company has
been at the center of intense political scrutiny. Its executives have
testified before Congress. The Department of Justice has launched a
criminal probe. And only last week did the company finally find a way to
cap the leak to stop new oil from seeping into the Gulf of Mexico.

the wake of the oil spill, many politicians sought to distance
themselves from the firm -- with some going so far as to refund BP
contributions, refuse BP contributions or donate the amount of money
they previously received from BP to charity.

As OpenSecrets

Blog reported last month, House Energy Committee member Rep. Charlie

Gonzalez (D-Texas), the sole federal recipient of BP cash during
May, pledged to not accept the check from BP. Similar action has been
taken by other politicians as well -- although some lawmakers have
defended the company and the oil industry after the disastrous spill.

prowess extends beyond political contributions. In 2009, the company
was one of the biggest
on federal lobbying, investing nearly $16 million to
ensure its voice was heard. That amount was nearly three-and-a-half
times as much
as it spent on federal lobbying activities two years

A spokesperson for BP could not be immediately reached
for comment.

Center for Responsive Politics communications
intern Andrew Kreighbaum contributed to this report.

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