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Petroleum pipeline
Politics and Economy:
The Politics of Oil
More on This Story:

Paying for Politics: What Oil Buys

It's no surprise to hear that industry groups, particularly the oil and gas industries, spend a portion of their income lobbying. A report from the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit group, seeks to reveal exactly how much government influence this money is buying. The report POLITICS OF OIL, released on July 15, 2004, is an international investigation of one of the world's richest industries and how it influences government and public policy around the world.

The Center found that the industry has spent more than $440 million over the past six years on politicians, political parties, and lobbyists to protect its interests in Washington. The Center also lists among its key findings:

  • The industry has given more than $67 million in campaign contributions in federal elections since the 1998 election cycle, about a fifth of the amount it has spent on lobbying.
  • U.S.-based oil and gas companies have nearly 900 subsidiaries located in tax haven countries, such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
  • Oil and gas companies overwhelmingly favored Republicans over Democrats in their campaign giving, the study found. Just over 73 percent of the industry's campaign contributions have gone to Republican candidates and organizations in 2004.

The series of reports include alphabetized lists of Private or Publicly Traded Oil Companies and Trade Organization or Industry Groups; figures on how much oil and natural gas companies and interest groups have been spending on lobbying activities and federal elections; a profile of the powerful private oil company Koch Industries; and further information on tax havens, Vice President Cheney's ties to the energy industry, and a review of the perks for Energy Department officials being courted by the oil and gas industry.

To further your understanding of some of these tactics, find links to related NOW stories below.

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