For Immediate Release
Seth Gladstone – email@example.com
Sessions’ Family Invested in Oil & Gas Company the Same Year He Aimed to Deregulate Fracking
Advocacy Group Raises New Questions Around Wife’s Big Investment In Energen
WASHINGTON - As Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions faces confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee today, Food & Water Watch is raising questions about new information regarding family holdings in an oil and gas company as Sessions sought to deregulate fracking.
In 1999, Sessions was the sole co-sponsor of a bill introduced by Senator James Inhofe to exempt underground injections of fracking-related fluids from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The bill—the original Halliburton Loophole—was eventually folded into the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Through information obtained via Opensecrets.org, Food & Water Watch discovered that the same year Senator Sessions introduced the legislation, he and his wife acquired a larger stake in Energen, an Alabama-based oil and gas company that had pioneered fracking in the state.
In 1995, as Sessions was running for a Senate seat, he and his wife held between $1,001-$15,000 in Energen stock. They reported the same for 1996, 1997 and 1998. But in 1999 — the year Inhofe and Sessions introduced the bill to exempt Energen’s fracking operations from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act — the Senator reported that his wife had separately acquired an additional stake in the company, valued at $15,000-$50,0000.
“Senator Sessions’ attempt to deregulating fracking at a time his wife was acquiring a large stake in an oil and gas company that would directly benefit raises many questions,” says Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “It adds to the many other ethics questions that are swirling around his nomination—not to mention his troubling civil rights record.”
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