How a U.S. Senator or a Congressman votes can sometimes be correlated with the political contributions from various industries. Gathering data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports as of June 30, 2011, the Center for Responsive Politics breaks down the donations into various classes of contributors. The ‘Energy and Natural Resources’ category is of most interest to environmentalists since it includes coal, oil, mining, forestry, etc. It is these industries that are lobbying hard to undermine the authority of and funding for the Environmental Protection Agency.
In the table below are listed our local Congressmen and U.S. Senators, with the total contributions received during their Federal political ‘career’, and the percentage of that total identified as coming from industries in the ‘Energy and Natural Resources’ category.
Rep. Glenn Thompson …. $1,749,113 …. 11.0 pct.
Rep. Tim Murphy ………… $7,901,346…. 10.5
Rep. Mike Doyle …………. $6,384,135 …. 8.3
Rep. Bill Shuster ……….. $5,566,296 …. 6.5
Rep. Jason Altmire ………. $7,131,679 …. 5.2
Rep. Mark Critz …………. $2,831,130 …. 3.9
Sen. Pat Toomey ……….. $21,614,738 …. 3.6
Sen. Bob Casey ………… $23,448,262 …. 0.9
(Rep. Mike Kelly is absent from the list because his total as of June 30, 2011 was not available.)
At the Dirty Energy Money website the FEC data as of December 31, 2010 was broken down by contributions the coal and the oil and gas industries.
Rep. Tim Murphy, $525,435, of which coal is 59 pct, and oil & gas – 41 pct.
Sen. Pat Toomey, $417,515, coal – 37 pct, oil & gas – 63 pct.
Rep. Mike Doyle, $304,169, coal – 76 pct, oil & gas – 24 pct.
Rep. Bill Shuster, $261,900, coal – 66 pct, oil & gas – 34 pct.
Rep. Jason Altmire, $175,550, coal – 86 pct, oil & gas – 13 pct.
Rep. Glenn Thompson, $135,322, coal – 31 pct, oil & gas – 69 pct.
Sen. Bob Casey, $118,650, coal – 48 pct, oil & gas – 52 pct.
Rep. Mark Critz, $64,700, coal – 99 pct, oil & gas – 1 pct. $234,688
Rep. Mike Kelly, $19,900, coal – 17 pct, oil & gas – 87 pct.
- Reps. Murphy and Thompson received from the Energy and Natural Resources sector more than ten percent of the total contributions.
- Reps. Doyle and Murphy are both on the influential Energy & Commerce Committee. Their League of Conservation Voters (LCV) scores for the 111th Congress (2009-2010) were 70 and 21 pct respectively.
- Reps. Shuster and Thompson each earned LCV scores of 4 pct.
- Reps. Altmire, Doyle, and Murphy are members of both the Natural Gas and the Coal caucuses in Congress.
- Receiving significantly more from Coal than Oil & Gas were Reps. Altmire, Critz, Doyle, Murphy, and Shuster.
- Receiving significantly more from Oil & Gas than Coal were Sen. Toomey and Reps. Kelly and Thompson.
- Sen. Casey received less than one percent of his contributions from the Energy and Natural Resources sector, and those contributions were split about evenly between Coal and Oil & Gas. Sen. Casey’s LCV score for the 111th Congress was 94 pct.