HOUSTON — Congressional campaign contributions from the hydraulic fracturing industry have soared with the shale energy boom, jumping nearly 180 percent between the 2004 and 2012 campaign cycles, according to a new report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The hydraulic fracturing industry, defined as trade groups that support fracturing and companies that operate fractured wells, contributed nearly $12 million to House and Senate candidates during the 2012 election cycle, according to the report released this week. That grew from $4.3 million eight years earlier.
Legislators from districts and states that have fracturing activity, including many in Texas, were the biggest beneficiaries of the growing flood of dollars into D.C. Those candidates received $6.9 million during the 2012 campaign cycle, compared to $2.1 for the 2004 cycle.
“Like many industries under increasing scrutiny, the fracking industry has responded by ratcheting up campaign donations to help make new friends in Congress,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, in a written statement. “As CREW’s report shows, the fracking boom isn’t just good for the industry, but also for congressional candidates in fracking districts.”
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The report, called Natural Cash: How the Fracking Industry Fuels Congress, says 80 percent of campaign contributions from the fracturing industry went to Republican candidates.
Still, one of the 10 largest recipients is a Democrat. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana received $285,000 between the 2004 and 2012 campaign cycles.
In total, Democratic candidates from districts with fracturing activity received $850,000 in the 2012 campaign cycle. Republican candidates received $6.1 million, according to the report.
The hydraulic fracturing industry contributed nearly $2 million to all Texas congressional candidates in the 2012 campaign cycle, a 169 percent increase over the 2006 campaign cycle.
The report is based on data by MapLight, a research organization that tracks data on campaign contributions, legislative votes and other political activity.
Above, see which senators and representatives received the largest campaign contributions from the hydraulic fracturing industry during the 2004 and 2012 campaign cycles, and find out which Texas representative ranks No. 1.