NEW YORK (Reuters) – Some energy companies have decided to stop making political donations after rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol last week, the head of a prominent trade group said on Wednesday.
Mike Sommers, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said the riots, which resulted in the deaths of five people, will also factor in future decisions of the American Petroleum Institute regarding donations. He did not indicate which companies had suspended their political contributions.
U.S. oil giant Chevron said on Tuesday it was reviewing the donations.
Among the five dead was a policeman defending the U.S. Capitol, as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the seat of Congress in an attempt to disrupt official recognition of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory in November. On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives was set to impeach Trump for his role in the call for the march on Capitol Hill.
“Our first rule is to support the candidates and members of Congress and senators who support the oil and gas industry,” Sommers said during a press call, where he discussed the prospects of the API for 2021. “But just like previous iterations of our past donations, there are other factors that also come into effect and that will be one of the factors that we will consider. “
Many companies have suspended donations to politicians who refused to certify Biden’s victory, including Walmart Inc, the world’s largest retailer and entertainment company Walt Disney Co.
“I specifically asked my team to take a look at the events of the past week and make sure these are factored in as we make our decisions going forward,” said Chevron chief executive Mike Wirth at the Reuters Next conference on Tuesday.
The political action committee of American employees of the big oil company BP is also suspending political contributions for six months and will reassess its criteria for support.
The oil and gas industry contributed more than $ 109 million in political donations for the 2020 election cycle, according to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political spending. Any cut in spending would fall primarily on Conservative candidates, who raised more than $ 102 million from those donations, according to the research group.
Reporting by Stephanie Kelly and Laura Sanicola, editing by Franklin Paul and David Gregorio