The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Erin Jensen,Email:,

Campaign Launched to Force 'BP Ten' and Others in Congress to Give Up Dirty Oil Cash

Friends of the Earth’s campaign targets underlying problem that led to Gulf spill: the undue influence of oil companies in Washington


Today, as BP's CEO, Tony Hayward,
was set to testify about the devastating oil disaster his firm caused
in the Gulf of Mexico, the environmental watchdog group Friends of the
Earth launched a campaign to pressure members of Congress to unload the cash they've received from BP and other oil companies.

"We all know money talks, and in
the last two election cycles alone, the oil and gas industries spent
$48,401,891 to curry influence in Washington. Congress has been
corrupted by this dirty money," said Friends of the Earth's president, Erich Pica.
"This corruption has inhibited the transition to clean energy and
produced the dangerous drilling policies that led to the disaster in
the Gulf. Each and every member of Congress who has accepted this
tainted money is part of the problem. All elected officials who have
taken oil money should turn it over to organizations doing recovery
work in the Gulf."
"Corporate influence in Washington
has become so overwhelming that the ability of our government to
function in the public interest is now in question," Pica added.
"Members of Congress need to make clear whether they think they're
representatives in an oil-igarchy or a democracy. If they are committed
to democracy, they must give this money back, stop doing corporate
polluters' bidding and start acting in the public interest."
Friends of the Earth's campaign
applies to all members of Congress who have taken oil money, but will
focus in particular on the five House members and five senators who
have taken the most money from BP in the last few years. They are being
urged to contribute the money to the Gulf Coast Fund to help the Gulf
region recover.
The "BP Ten" are:
* John McCain (R-AZ, $36,649 from BP and $2,428,287 from Big Oil since 2006)
* Mary Landrieu (D-LA, $16,200 from BP and $329,100 from Big Oil since 2006)
* Mark Begich (D-AK, $8,550 from BP and $85,958 from Big Oil since 2006)
* Lisa Murkowski (R-AK, $8,500 from BP and $223,326 from Big Oil since 2006)
* Mitch McConnell (R-KY, $8,500 from BP and $408,400 from Big Oil since 2006)
* John Culberson (R-TX, $10,200 from BP and $187,350 from Big Oil since 2006)
* Ron Paul (R-TX, $7,300 from BP and $134,132 from Big Oil since 2006)
* Charles Rangel (D-NY, $6,500 from BP and $40,600 from Big Oil since 2006)
* Steny Hoyer (D-MD, $6,000 from BP and $91,800 from Big Oil since 2006)
* Don Young (R-AK, $5,500 from BP and $45,500 from Big Oil since 2006)
More information about the campaign, including graphics and social media tools, is available at:
More information about the Gulf
Coast Fund, to which Friends of the Earth is urging members of Congress
to direct the oil funds they have received, can be found at

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

(202) 783-7400