How Oil and Gas Corporations Funded an Attempted Coup

by Ryan Schleeter

January 11, 2021

Oil and gas corporations, including Chevron and Exxon, have donated a total of $5.4 million to the seven Senators who voted to overturn the presidential election and bolstered a violent, failed attempted coup by pro-Trump extremists.

© Tim Aubry / Greenpeace

Washington, DC — Oil and gas corporations, including Chevron and Exxon, have donated a total of $5.4 million to the seven Senators who voted to overturn the presidential election and bolstered a violent, failed attempted coup by pro-Trump extremists [1].

Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner John Noël said: 

“Oil and gas corporations aided the political wing of a white supremacist mob. Statements such as the ones we saw from Chevron [2] and the American Petroleum Institute [3] last week ‘condemning violence’ are far too little too late. These corporations and their executives are a part of the white supremacist power structure attempting to undermine our democracy and it will be up to the incoming Biden administration to hold them accountable. The Senate must immediately pass the For the People Act (HR-1), which includes necessary reforms to make our political system more inclusive and responsive to people instead of corporations and fossil fuel executives.”

Oil and gas political donations — including from corporate PACs and employees — to the seven Senators who fueled the flames of a pro-Trump, anti-democratic failed coup attempt total $5,468,182 over the course of those Senators’ careers:

  • Ted Cruz (R-TX): $3,770,950
  • Cynthia Lummis (R-WY): $603,176
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS): $352,829
  • Josh Hawley (R-MO): $262,463
  • Roger Marshall (R-KA): $194,083
  • Rick Scott (R-FL): $174,152
  • Tommy Tuberville (R-AL): $110,529

The extremist movement’s Congressional leader, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), is one of the top recipients of oil and gas political donations in the Senate. According to publicly available information, Senator Cruz has received $3,770,950 from oil interests since 2011, including $109,974 from Exxon alone [4]. In addition to being a loyal ally to oil executives and lobbyists, Cruz has unapologetically led the call to overturn the election results even after violent, Trump-supporting insurrectionists raided the Capitol.

ENDS

Notes: 

[1] Full breakdown of oil and gas political donations to Senators who aided pro-Trump extremists: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1x1K7_hfnDpoMQKFq2RjTs_SfeXWRy9kT1_pnWZpqqsE/edit#gid=895708586

[2] Statement from Chevron: https://twitter.com/Chevron/status/1347004338577813511

[3] Statement from American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Mike Sommers: https://twitter.com/mj_sommers/status/1346926684147228684

[4] ExxonMobil is among the top corporate donors to Senator Ted Cruz according to the Center for Responsive Politics: https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/ted-cruz/contributors?cid=N00033085&cycle=CAREER&type=C

Contact: Ryan Schleeter, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (415) 342-2386, [email protected]

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

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