Yesterday, in a 51-47 vote, 43 Senate Republicans and four Democrats filibustered to protect $24 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil. Although a majority voted for Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) bill, it fell short of the 60 needed.
The only two Republicans to break rank were Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME). The four Democrats who broke rank were Sen. Mark Begich (D -AK), Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Sen. Jim Webb, (D-VA).
A Think Progress Green analysis shows how oil and gas companies have funneled cash to the same senators who protected its handouts:
- The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas. The 51 senators voting to repeal oil tax breaks have received $5,873,600.
- The senators who voted for Big Oil’s handouts received on average over four times as much career oil cash as those who voted to end them.
- Overall, Senate Republicans have taken $23.2 million in oil and gas contributions. Democrats received $6.66 million.
- Since 2011, Senate Republicans have voted seven times for pro-Big Oil interests and against clean energy three times.