Saturday, March 3, 2012

Big Oil Pumps More Than $1.2 Million Into Romney Super PAC

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By Rebecca Leber

Coal, oil, and gas companies have contributed at least $1.2 million to Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a ThinkProgress Green analysis reveals.

The super PAC Restore Our Future has fundraised $30 million to Romney to the White House. The super PAC spent $800,000 on pro-Romney ads, but it has flooded his Republican opponents with attack ads totaling 17 million. Restore Our Future’s war chest comes from under 200 donors, 85 percent of whom had already donated the maximum amount to the Romney campaign.

Romney’s campaign has raised at least $500,000 from the oil and gas industry, according to Open Secrets. But his super PAC allows special interests another chance to exert their influence. While many of the super PAC’s donors come from the financial sector, coal, oil, and gas have also flocked to Restore Our Future:
Coal mining:
– Oxbow Carbon:$750,000
– Oxbow President Bill Koch: $250,000
– Consol Energy: $150,000
Oil and Gas:
– Ballard Exploration: $25,000
– Bassoe Offshore President Jonathan Fairbanks: $25,000
– Murphy Wade of Murphy Oil Corporation: $15,000
– Joseph Grigg of American Energy Operations: $5,000
– Total for oil, gas, and coal: $1,220,000
In total, coal, oil, and gas companies contributed at least $1.2 million to Restore Our Future’s $18 million haul in the last half of 2011. The coal company Oxbow Carbon, alone, contributed $1 million, including a $250,000 donation from billionaire Oxbow CEO Bill Koch — the brother of oil billionaires Charles and David of Koch Industries.

With Perry out of the race, Romney has received more money from mining and oil than any other presidential candidate. The pro-Perry super PAC “Make Us Great Again” took in an outstanding $1.3 million from oil companies and executives during the last six months of his run.

Although Restore Our Future has no “formal” ties to the candidate, the donations reflect Romney’s right pivot on energy and climate concerns. The Massachusetts governor that once supported regulations on coal pollution, has since questioned whether carbon is even dangerous. In addition to becoming a climate denier, he now blasts government support for cleaner energy — despite creating a state green fund as governor.

You can expect Romney to sound suspiciously like his rich polluting backers, as dirty money continues to flood Restore Our Future and Romney’s campaign stash.

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