June 4, 2010
BP Plays the Influence Game: $19.5 Million,
49 Lobbyists Since 2009
BP Has Dramatically Increased Its Lobbying Efforts in Recent Years
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Since the beginning of 2009, BP has employed 49 lobbyists at a cost of $19.5 million. Of these 49 lobbyists, 35 – or 71 percent – previously held federal positions, according to a new Public Citizen analysis.
BP has dramatically increased its lobbying efforts in recent years, Public Citizen found. The firm spent $16 million lobbying in 2009, more than four times the average $3.9 million per year it spent in the first nine years of the past decade, according to the analysis of lobbying disclosure data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that a stronger democracy would have prevented the oil gusher at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “If it weren’t for the improper influence and insider leveraging made possible by revolving door lobbyists and other exertions of BP and Big Oil’s undue political power, we would have had the laws and rules in place to prevent BP’s recklessness.”
Thirty-three of BP’s lobbyists and their families have made federally reported political contributions totaling nearly $1.9 million in the past two election cycles. More than 60 percent of these contributions ($1.1 million) have been made by only five of the lobbyists. Lobbyist couple Tony and Heather Podesta contributed the most ($404,470). (Tony is a lobbyist for BP; his wife, Heather, is not.)
The BP lobbying and campaign contribution data are available here.