For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Jayson O’Neill, Director

Western Values Project

jayson@westernvaluesproject.org

(406) 200-8582

Senators Requesting Big Oil Bailouts Received Millions in Big Oil Donations

Letter To Oil and Gas Lobbyist-Turned Interior Secretary Bernhardt Requests Unilateral Royalty Reductions.

WASHINGTON - Early this week, a dozen Senators sent a letter to President Trump’s Interior Secretary David Bernhardt asking the former oil and gas lobbyist to unilaterally lower already outdated and inadequate royalty rates for domestic oil leaseholders. New research compiled by Western Values Project, a Montana-based Accountable.US project focused on public lands conservation and accountability, found that these Senators have raked in over $14 million in oil and gas donations over their political careers.

“It’s crystal clear that for these Senators, Big Oil and extractive corporations come first. This crisis revealed their true values and it’s not the American people nor the communities that would get the short end of the stick at a time when they simply cannot afford to if Trump and Bernhardt acquiesce,” said Jayson O’Neill, Director of Western Values Project. “Instead of focusing on the public health crisis that is being exacerbated by the Trump administration’s failures, their pushing for another Big Oil bailout. Big Oil should get in line like everyone else.” 

The oil and gas industry consistently ranked as one of the top six donors for all 12 of the Senators that were signatories to the request. President Trump is scheduled to meet with several multinational oil corporations and CEOs on Friday, including Harold Hamm, the CEO and founder of Continental Resources, another major Trump donor, according to reporting by Politico.

Learn more about the Trump administration’s efforts to carve-out more big oil and coal bailouts at WesternValuesProject.org

The Oil And Gas Industry Has Given More Than $14 Million To The 12 Senators Who Asked Secretary Bernhardt To Suspend Federal Leasing Royalties

The Oil And Gas Industry Was Consistently A Top Six Contributor To Senators Who Signed The Letter

Twelve Senators Urged Interior Secretary David Bernhardt To Provide Relief To Extractive Companies By Suspending Or Reducing Federal Royalties.

On March 30th, 2020, Senators John Barrasso, John Cornyn, Mike Enzi, Steve Daines, John Kennedy, Jim Inhofe, Bill Cassidy, Kevin Cramer, Mitt Romney, Dan Sullivan, John Hoeven, And Mike Lee Sent A Letter To Interior Secretary David Bernhardt Asking Him To Suspend Federal Leasing Royalties For Extractive Companies. “Given these considerations, we urge you to provide necessary relief in the form of a suspension or reduction in federal royalties paid to the U.S. Treasury, particularly for small and mid size producers. Without these measures, it is likely that many companies will cease production, which could cost thousands of jobs and threaten American energy security. These measures of relief will allow a stronger domestic energy industry to emerge and will help maintain America's role as a global energy leader.” [Senatorial Letter To David Bernhardt, 03/30/20]

These Same 12 Senators Have Taken In More Than $14 Million In Campaign Donations From The Oil And Gas Industry.

Senators John Barrasso, John Cornyn, Mike Enzi, Steve Daines, John Kennedy, Jim Inhofe, Bill Cassidy, Kevin Cramer, Mitt Romney, Dan Sullivan, John Hoeven, And Mike Lee Have Taken In $14,173,076 In Campaign Contributions From The Oil And Gas Industry.

Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming has taken a total of $1,145,191 from the oil and gas industry. [Sen. John A Barrasso - Wyoming, Opensecrets.org, accessed 04/01/20]

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Senator  John Cornyn of Texas has taken a total of $4,067,906 from the oil and gas industry. [Sen. John Cornyn - Texas, Opensecrets.org, accessed 04/01/20] 

Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming has taken a total of $530,583 from the oil and gas industry. [Sen. Mike Enzi - Wyoming, Opensecrets.org, accessed 04/01/20]  

Senator Steve Daines of Montana has taken a total of $857,079 from the oil and gas industry. [Sen. Steven Daines - Montana, Opensecrets.org, accessed 04/01/20] 

Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana has taken a total of $893,247 from the oil and gas industry. [Sen. John Kennedy - Louisiana, Opensecrets.org, accessed 04/01/20]

Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma has taken a total of $2,139,220 from the oil and gas industry. [Sen. James M Inhofe - Oklahoma, Opensecrets.org, accessed 04/01/20] 

Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana has taken a total of $1,554,805 from the oil and gas industry. [Sen. Bill Cassidy - Louisiana, Opensecrets.org, accessed 04/01/20] 

Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota has taken a total of $1,174,330 from the oil and gas industry. [Sen. Kevin Cramer - North Dakota, Opensecrets.org, accessed 04/01/20] 

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah has taken a total of $111,818 from the oil and gas industry in his Senate campaigns. [Sen. Mitt Romney - Utah, Opensecrets.org, accessed 04/01/20] 

Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska has taken a total of $658,524 from the oil and gas industry. [Sen. Dan Sullivan - Alaska, Opensecrets.org, accessed 04/01/20]

Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota has taken a total of $683,078 from the oil and gas industry. [Sen. John Hoeven - North Dakota, Opensecrets.org, accessed 04/01/20]

Senator Mike Lee of Utah has taken a total of $683,078 from the oil and gas industry. [Sen. Mike Lee - Utah, Opensecrets.org, accessed 04/01/20]

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Western Values Project brings accountability to the national conversation about Western public lands and national parks conservation – a space too often dominated by industry lobbyists and their allies in government.

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