Politicizing The Oil Spill

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on May 5, 2010

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Things are bad enough with the BP oil spill without bringing politics into the picture, but I suppose that it was too much to expect that Democrats wouldn’t use the oil spill as yet another way to gin up outrage amongst the base.

I am pretty sure, however, that the party won’t be advertising this to its supporters:

While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they’ve taken from the oil and gas giant over the years.

BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.

On top of that, the oil giant has spent millions each year on lobbying — including $15.9 million last year alone — as it has tried to influence energy policy.

During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.

Look for President Obama to not return any of this money. And look for the Democratic party to not make a big deal about any failure to return the money; a courtesy that it would not afford to a Republican President.

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