Energy And Natural Resource Interests Dumped Almost $1 Billion On Washington In Two Years

This editorial is part of our GREAT DEBATE feature ‘What Resource Do We Most Need For Our Future?

Among the industries that spend huge sums of money lobbying Congress and bankrolling political campaigns, few spend more generously than those representing energy and natural resource interests.

From 2009 through 2010, this sector donated over $75 million to political campaigns on the federal level. Of that total, two-thirds went to Republican candidates, putting it in line with historical partisan trends — since 1989, the sector has favoured Republicans by a 70-30 split, according to Open Secrets.

Yet the bulk of the industry’s influence is secured through lobbying efforts, which amounted to $870 million over that same two year period.

Here’s how that spending breaks down by groups within that sector.

chart, money spent lobbying and funding political campaigns by natural resource industry, jan 31 2012

Photo: Jon Terbush / Business Insider

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