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Fossil Fuel PACs Donated $8.8 Million to Republican ‘Sedition Caucus’

Fossil fuel executives also contributed $18 million to two pro-trump groups in 2020 election cycle.

WASHINGTON - The fossil fuel industry’s political action committees (PACs) have bankrolled lawmakers who supported overturning the 2020 election, contributing about $8.8 million over the past three election cycles to 132 out of 147 members of Congress who voted against certifying the electoral college, according to a new report by Public Citizen.  

Since the insurrection, many corporations have tried to distance themselves from members of the GOP’s “sedition caucus” despite bankrolling their campaigns. Koch Industries ($1.495 million), ExxonMobil ($916,00), Marathon Petroleum ($805,000), Chevron ($629,000) and Valero Energy ($514,000) were the largest fossil fuel donors to congressional election denialists since 2016. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and U.S. Reps. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Garrett Graves (R-La.) were the top recipients of these fossil fuel corporate PAC contributions, according to the analysis of campaign finance data.

“For years, oil and gas corporations funneled political donations to members of Congress who voted not to certify the true results of the November election,” said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. “Big Oil has long promoted science and truth denialism, helping to create a political culture that tolerates denial of facts. After the Capitol Hill insurrection, many Big Oil companies have rushed to distance themselves from the insurrection and promised to revisit their political donation policies. That’s a welcome move, but it does not absolve Big Oil from its role in the events leading up to Jan. 6.”


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In the 2020 election alone, 29 fossil fuel executives contributed more than $18 million to America First Action and Trump Victory, political groups that worked to re-elected former-president Donald Trump who instigated the insurrection. Additionally, 45 fossil fuel corporate executives also donated more than $8.5 million to five political groups dedicated to supporting Republican Congressional candidates.

“The Trump administration, with its short-sighted ‘energy dominance’ agenda, was eager to allow as much drilling as possible drilling on our public lands and waters, and now oil industry executives and their allies are complaining in exaggerated terms about the end of such blatant giveaways under the Biden administration,” said Alan Zibel, a Public Citizen researcher and the report’s author. “Fossil fuel corporations and their executives should not be excused for their support of the far-right agenda of fossil fuel exploitation and climate denialism.”


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Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts.

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