(Reuters) – America’s two largest energy companies, Chevron Corp CVX.N and Exxon Mobil Corp XOM.N, have increased their share of campaign donations to Democrats this year, according to the latest documents filed, amid a looming battle over fracking.
The vast majority, 85% of all oil and gas donations in this election, went on behalf of US President Donald Trump, other Republican candidates and conservative causes, according to data from the Center for Campaign researcher. Responsive Politics (CRP).
However, the oil majors have put more money in Democratic coffers, as some polls show Democratic challenger Joseph Biden with up to 10 percentage points ahead and a platform calling on the country to move to more. renewable energy and put an end to new federal fracking permits. land.
Chevron has given about 28% of its political funds to Democratic candidates this cycle, up from 26% in 2016. Exxon sent 41% of its contributions to Democratic candidates and parties, up from 32.6% in the last presidential election, according to the data.
Chevron’s $ 4.9 million spending is intended to “support the election of candidates who believe, like us, in the value of responsible oil and gas development and organizations and actions aligned with our business interests. Said spokesperson Sean Comey.
Exxon spent $ 1.7 million in contributions to all applicants and groups. The company did not respond to a request for comment.
Republicans hold the presidency and the majority of seats in the US Senate.
U.S. oil and gas companies have invested $ 87 million in political spending this cycle, according to data available in mid-September and compiled by the CRP. That compares to $ 104 million during the entire 2016 presidential election, according to the CRP. Voters will choose a president and 35 senators on November 3.
Biden has pledged to move the United States to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, ban the issuance of new fracking permits on federal lands, and re-commit the United States to the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. this century.
Oil and gas companies raised $ 86 million in the 2018 midterm elections, which included energy ballot initiatives that drew big donations. That year, voters in Arizona, Colorado and Washington rejected separate efforts to reduce fossil fuel use.
Pipeline magnate Kelcy Warren’s energy transfer partners AND N topped the list of campaign contributions this year from oil and gas companies. Warren’s company injected some $ 13.9 million into this election cycle, up from $ 2.3 million in 2016, according to the CRP.
Warren controls the Dakota Access Pipeline, which transports crude oil from North Dakota to the Midwest and has secured Trump’s backing via executive orders speeding up the line. In June, Warren held a fundraiser for Trump at his home in Dallas.
Koch Industries, an oil, chemical and cattle conglomerate, was the second-largest donor with $ 10 million, according to CRP data. Managed by conservative activist and philanthropist Charles Koch, the company made a similar donation in 2016.
According to the CRP, the Trump campaign and related outside groups have raised some $ 12.8 million from the oil and gas industry since 2017. This is far more than the roughly $ 1 million Trump received during the cycle. 2016 election.
Tom Pyle, chairman of the American Energy Alliance advocacy group, said few believed Trump had a chance of winning in 2016. That year, some $ 10.4 million in oil and gas money went to the former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, along with US Senator Ted Cruz and former Texas. Governor Rick Perry raised $ 2.8 million and $ 1.6 million, respectively.
Biden had pledged not to accept donations exceeding $ 200 from the fossil fuel industry, but took $ 895,151 from individuals and PACs associated with the oil and gas industry, according to CRP data.
Chart – Top donors from energy companies to political candidates and American campaigns: here
Reporting by Liz Hampton in Denver; edited by Gary McWilliams and Marguerita Choy