Oil and gas industry gives millions to Texas lawmakers

(Photo: Seth Anderson/Flickr)

Oil and gas companies have given millions over the past three years to Texas’ lawmakers, according to an analysis released Monday by the non-profit Texans for Public Justice.

The non-profit found state senators collected around $3.4 million from the energy industry;  representatives collected around $5.6 million. Overall, oil and gas companies gave six percent of all money raised by sitting lawmakers.

The non-profit also identified a handful of lawmakers from whom campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry account for most of their money raised. Four of those five serve on the Senate’s Natural Resources Committee. They are Sens. Van Taylor, R-Plano; Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo; Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls; Konni Burton, R-Colleyville.

In the House, the non-profit found that nine representatives received more than 15 percent of their campaign contributions over three years from the oil and gas industry. Three of those lawmakers — Tom Craddick R-Midland, Brooks Landgraf, R-Odessa, and Phil King, R-Weatherford — served on the House’s Energy Resources Committee.

The industry also donates hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s oil and gas regulator. For years lawmakers have proposed bills that would limit how much money the oil and gas industry can give the commission, but those bills have typically died.

This year, Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, has introduced a similar bill, House Bill 464, that would limit campaign contributions to a 17 month period around an election and prohibit contributions from companies with cases pending before the agency.

 

 

 

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