ReportPolitical Footprint: Oil and Gas Industry$190M average annual investment returns $9.3B in subsidies, the oil and gas industry is getting bang for their buck

Oil and gas, one of the world’s most profitable industries, has leveraged its substantial wealth, and its army of 688 well-connected Washington lobbyists, to boost its profits further at the expense of America’s taxpayers.

According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the oil and gas industry spent $112.5 million on lobbying last year, or around $308,225 per day. The demand shock brought on by the pandemic in 2020 may have caused oil and gas companies to cut jobs, but it did not make the industry cut back on campaign contributions to politicians. On top of its lobbying costs, the industry spent a record high $138.6 million on campaign contributions during the 2020 election cycle, an increase of 22.7% over the previous presidential election cycle.

Thanks to the generous, uninterrupted flow of taxpayer-funded subsidies, Covid-19 bailouts and rising oil and gas prices, the top 20 U.S. oil and gas companies reported $24 billion in total profits during the first half of 2021, which is just shy of the $24.6 billion they earned during all of 2019. And yet, the federal government continue to subsidize these companies through generous provisions in the tax code and in the federal leasing system. (Read more about the oil and gas industry recovery here.) The oil and gas industry will continue to dissemble on the array of subsidies and preferential treatment the highly profitable industry has enjoyed for more than a century. Just over the last decade, the oil and gas industry’s $190 million average annual investment in lobbying and campaign donations returned $9.3 billion in tax and leasing subsidies every year. The oil and gas industry are playing taxpayers for fools.

With the economy opening up and oil prices soaring, oil and gas companies are booming businesses, aided by the perennial billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies. Some of the producers’ profits will be funneled into hiring lobbyists to protect those subsidies and clamor for new ones. In recent years, the industry has continued to whisper in policymakers’ ears with a multimillion-dollar megaphone.

Read the full report below, or download here

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