The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phone: (202) 588-1000

BP Plays the Influence Game: $19.5 Million, 49 Lobbyists Since 2009

BP Has Dramatically Increased Its Lobbying Efforts in Recent Years


Since the beginning of 2009, BP has employed 49 lobbyists at a cost
of $19.5 million. Of these 49 lobbyists, 35 - or 71 percent - previously
held federal positions, according to a new Public Citizen analysis.

BP has dramatically increased its lobbying efforts in recent years,
Public Citizen found. The firm spent $16 million lobbying in 2009, more
than four times the average $3.9 million per year it spent in the first
nine years of the past decade, according to the analysis of lobbying
disclosure data provided by the Center
for Responsive Politics

"It's no exaggeration to say that a stronger democracy would have
prevented the oil gusher at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico," said
Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. "If it weren't for the
improper influence and insider leveraging made possible by revolving
door lobbyists and other exertions of BP and Big Oil's undue political
power, we would have had the laws and rules in place to prevent BP's

Thirty-three of BP's lobbyists and their families have made
federally reported political contributions totaling nearly $1.9 million
in the past two election cycles. More than 60 percent of these
contributions ($1.1 million) have been made by only five of the
lobbyists. Lobbyist couple Tony and Heather Podesta contributed the most
($404,470). (Tony is a lobbyist for BP; his wife, Heather, is not.)

BP lobbying and campaign contribution data are available here

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people - not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

(202) 588-1000