DEEP DRILLING, DEEP POCKETS IN CONGRESS & PENNSYLVANIA November 10, 2011

James Browning & Alex Kaplan
November 10, 2011
DEEP DRILLING, DEEP POCKETS
IN CONGRESS & PENNSYLVANIA
i
About Common Cause
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ii
Table of Contents
Executive Summary
Key Findings
Fracking Money in Politics
Campaign Contributions
Lobbying Expenditures
Independent Political Expenditures
Regulation
Failure to Regulate
Can the Natural Gas Industry Regulate Itself?
Regulation in the States
Conclusion
Recommendations
About This Report
Pennsylvania
Campaign Contributions and the Rise of Gas Drilling in PA
Recommendations for Pennsylvania
References
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List of Charts and Figures
1. Fracking Industry PAC and Employee Campaign Contributions (graph)
2. Fracking Industry Lobbying Expenditures (graph)
3. Fracking money by vote on the “Halliburton Loophole” (chart)
4. Av. fracking money received by vote on the 2005 Energy Policy Act (graph)
5. Top 10 fracking entities by PAC and employee campaign contributions (chart)
6. Fracking money to energy committee members vs. non-members (chart)
7. Fracking money to Republicans vs. Democrats (graphic)
8. Top 10 entities by lobbying expenditures, 2001-2011 (chart)
9. Top 5 entities by lobbying expenditures, 2001-2010 (graph)
10. Top 100 in Congress by money received from the fracking industry (chart)
11. Top Pennsylvania members of Congress as recipients of fracking money
12. Fracking money to Pennsylvania state candidates (graph)
13. Pennsylvania’s top 20 state-level recipients of fracking money (chart)
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1
Executive Summary
A faction of the natural gas industry has
invested more than $747 million as part of a
10-year lobbying and political spending
campaign to persuade federal authorities to
ignore the dangers of hydraulic fracturing,
or “fracking,” a rapidly expanding but
poorly regulated method of tapping gas
reserves.
Fracking involves injecting a mix of sand,
chemicals, and water into a well at high
pressure in order to break up underground
rock formations and free up natural gas.
Pollution may occur underground, with
fracking chemicals or methane directly
contaminating aquifers and drinking wells,
or above ground, as streams or tributaries
are polluted by spills or improper
wastewater disposal.
Nationwide, more than 1,000 complaints of
water contamination due to fracking have
already been reported.1 Natural gas
obtained from fracking and horizontal
drilling in shale deposits – a combination
which produces massive amounts of toxic
wastewater – will rise from 16 percent of all
U.S. natural gas production in 2009 to 45
percent by 2035, according to the U.S.
Department of Energy.2
Despite the pollution risks, the industry has
argued that regulatory exemptions for
fracking are needed to give America the
opportunity to tap vast reserves of natural
gas that have been previously unobtainable,
generate millions of new jobs, reduce
energy costs for the American consumer,
and
dramatically
reduce
America’s
dependence on foreign oil. This is an
impressive list—suggesting a “cure-all” for
some of America’s biggest domestic and
foreign challenges.
From 2001 through June 2011, the
fracking industry gave $20.5 million to
current members of Congress and
spent $726 million on lobbying.
2
Such promises have helped the natural gas
industry “systematically exempt themselves
from most major environmental laws,”
according to Dusty Horwitt, Senior Counsel
for the Environmental Working Group, and
author of the 2010 study “Drilling Around
the Law.” With little federal regulation in
place, the public has been left to rely on
industry promises to limit the use of
harmful substances in the fracking
process—promises which have been
repeatedly broken.
The EPA is scheduled to publish new,
preliminary findings about the potential
dangers of fracking in 2012. That gives the
natural gas industry a powerful incentive to
increase its political spending now in an
attempt to shape public opinion and the
debate over fracking in Congress, as well as
affect the outcome of the 2012
Congressional elections. Doing so will be
much easier after last year’s U.S. Supreme
Court ruling in Citizens United. This ruling
threw out a century-old ban on corporate
spending around elections and empowered
corporations to exert even more influence
over the political process. Now money
spent on campaign contributions, lobbying,
and through other avenues of influence
such as the American Legislative Exchange
Council (ALEC) can be backed by millions
spent on electioneering.
3
Key Findings

From 2001 through June 2011, companies now engaged in fracking contributed $20.5
million to current members of Congress. Industry giving more than tripled from the
2001-02 election cycle, when $2 million was contributed, to the 2009-10 election cycle,
when $6.8 million was contributed.

These same companies spent $726 million on lobbying at the federal level from 2001
through September, 2011.

Contributions heavily favored current members of Congress who voted for the 2005
Energy Policy Act, which exempted fracking from regulation under the Safe Drinking
Water Act. Current members who voted for the bill received an average of $73,433,
while those who voted against the bill received an average of $10,894.

Current members of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works have
received a total of $1.4 million from the industry.

Current members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have received a total
of $3.7 million from the industry. Chair Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) has received $153,917
from the industry and Committee member Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) is the single-biggest
recipient of fracking money in Congress with $514,945.

The natural gas industry’s fight against regulation has gotten important help at the state
level from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). As documented in an
August 2011 Common Cause report, ALEC generates and lobbies for hundreds of model
bills every year despite its status as a tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) organization. Prominent
financial backers of ALEC’s activities include the American Petroleum Institute,
ExxonMobil, and Koch Industries, owner of the largest network of natural gastransmitting pipelines in the country.

The natural gas industry’s political expenditures have been used to target supporters of
the FRAC Act, which would regulate fracking under the Safe Drinking Water Act and
require disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process. For example, in 2010, the
industry gave $3 million to American Crossroads which in turn spent $533,000 in an
attempt to defeat FRAC Act sponsor U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY).
4
Figure 1
Fracking Industry PAC and Employee Campaign
Contributions, 2001-2010
5,000,000
4,573,727
4,500,000
4,000,000
Total in Dollars
3,500,000
3,306,972
3,000,000
2,500,000
2,274,194
2,000,000
1,500,000
1,646,124
1,486,132
1,295,178
1,000,000
500,000
896,339
703,070
700,438
1,697,182
0
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
Figure 2
Fracking Industry
Lobbying Expenditures, 2001-2010
160
144.3
Total in Millions of Dollars
140
120
102.2
100
110.2
80
62.3
60
52.1
40
20
29.1
37
35.7
34
44
0
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
5
Fracking Money in Politics
Campaign Contributions
Data was retrieved from the Federal Election Commission and represent contributions made
from January 1, 2001 through June 30, 2011. Custom databases were built and searched for
contributions relating to the PACs and employees of the relevant companies and organizations
described in the list available at the below link.
Download the entire data sheet at www.commoncause.org/fracking2012
Figure 3
Fracking money by vote on the 2005 Energy Policy Act / “Halliburton Loophole”
House In Favor
House Against
House not in office in 2005
Senate In Favor
Senate Against
Senate not in office in 2005
Total
Count Average
$8,655,233 137
$63,117
$1,243,528 123
$10,110
$2,980,647 173
$17,229
$4,931,832
48
$102,747
$172,700
7
$24,671
$2,115,006
43
$49,186
Figure 4
Average fracking money received by vote on the 2005 Energy Policy Act
$102,747
$120,000
$100,000
$80,000
$63,117
$49,186
$60,000
$40,000
$10,110
$20,000
$24,671
$17,229
$0
House In
Favor
House
Against
House not
in office
Senate In
Favor
Senate
Against
Senate not
in office
6.2x
4.1x
6
Fracking PAC total
2001 – June 2011
$16,236,806
Fracking employee total
2001 – June 2011
$4,250,851
Fracking industry total
2001 – June 2011
$20,487,657
Figure 5
Top 10 fracking entities by PAC and employee campaign contributions
Entity
Exxon Mobil
Chevron
ConocoPhillips
Occidental Petroleum
DTE Energy
Williams
Marathon Oil
American Gas Association
Ind. Petro. Assoc. of Amer.
Anadarko
Total
$2,843,443
$1,572,175
$1,399,600
$1,197,218
$1,083,392
$1,000,300
$961,350
$926,022
$898,500
$836,000
PAC
Employee
$2,563,543 $279,900
$1,401,825 $170,350
$1,149,750 $249,850
$1,075,600 $121,618
$903,194 $180,198
$892,200 $108,100
$841,900 $119,450
$856,622
$69,400
$895,000
$3,500
$699,500 $136,500
Figure 6
Fracking money to energy committee members vs. non-members
Total
Count
Senate Envir. & Public Works members
$1,440,188
18
Senate non-energy committee members $5,897,100
82
House Energy & Commerce members
$3,728,132
53
House non-energy committee members $9,343,476 382
Average
$80,010
$71,915
$70,342
$24,459
2.8x
Figure 7
Fracking money to Republicans vs. Democrats
Republican
Party/Caucus
Democratic
Party/Caucus
House
Senate
Combined
Total: $10,551,757
241 members
Average: $43,783
Total: $5,595,169
47 members
Average: $119,046
Total: $16,146,926
288 members
Average: $56,066
Total: $2,519,851
194 members
Average: $12,989
Total: $1,742,119
53 members
Average: $32,870
Total: $4,261,970
247 members
Average: $17,255
7
Fracking Money in Politics
Lobbying Expenditures
Data was compiled using both the Senate's online Lobbying Disclosure Act Database and data
from the Center for Responsive Politics. Lobbying figures included in this report represent
expenditures from the start of 2001 through the end of Quarter 3, 2011.
Download the entire data sheet at www.commoncause.org/fracking2012
Figure 8
Top 10 entities by lobbying expenditures, 2001-2011, in millions of dollars
Exxon Mobil
Chevron
ConocoPhillips
BP America
Marathon Oil
Am. Pet. Inst.
Shell
Occidental
Williams
DTE Energy
2001
5.83
3.71
0.23
2.18
5.72
1.14
0.26
2.13
1.83
2.00
2002
8.25
5.04
1.16
3.03
3.86
3.04
0.10
2.25
1.62
1.72
2003
7.56
4.62
1.38
2.57
3.66
3.14
0.06
2.03
1.14
2.36
2004
7.94
5.22
2.67
1.90
1.91
2.87
0.06
2.03
1.17
1.08
2005 2006 2007 2008
7.30 14.54 16.94 29.00
9.49 7.48 9.03 12.99
5.22 2.04 4.09 8.46
2.92 3.65 4.64 10.45
4.31 2.32 5.69 6.89
3.64 3.38 4.00 4.85
0.16 0.09 3.10 4.46
2.04 9.09 2.65 2.77
1.18 0.83 0.68 3.86
1.22 1.06 1.17 1.35
2009
27.43
20.82
18.07
15.99
9.95
7.32
10.19
2.77
4.16
1.52
2010 2011* TOTAL
12.45 10.03 147.27 Exxon Mobil
13.13
6.99 98.51 Chevron
19.63 16.13 79.07 ConocoPhillips
7.41
5.71 60.45 BP America
5.13
2.69 52.13 Marathon Oil
7.30
5.98 46.66 Am. Pet. Inst.
10.37 11.25 40.10 Shell
2.58
2.66 33.00 Occidental
3.94
3.01 23.40 Williams
1.50
1.46 16.44 DTE Energy
*2011 data incomplete: ends through Quarter 3 or September 2011
Figure 9
Top 5 entities by lobbying expenditures, 2001-2010, in millions of dollars
35.00
30.00
25.00
Exxon Mobil
20.00
Chevron
15.00
ConocoPhillips
BP America
10.00
Marathon Oil
5.00
0.00
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
8
Fracking Money in Politics
Independent Political Expenditures
“Climate is gone,” veteran political
strategist Karl Rove announced at a 2010
conference of the oil and gas industry.3
Rove was referring to the results of the
2010 elections in which Republicans took
control of the U.S. House—an election in
which political committees controlled by
Rove and aided by donations from oil and
gas interests were a leading source of
independent political expenditures.
Rove’s American Crossroads, a political
action committee organized under laws
that allow it to receive unlimited donations,
has collected $2 million from Trevor ReesJones, Chairman of Chief Oil and Gas, and
$1 million from Robert Rowling, Chairman
of TNT Holdings, whose businesses include
an oil and gas exploration firm. American
Crossroads and Rove’s Crossroads
Grassroots Political Strategies, or
Crossroads GPS, a spin-off of American
Crossroads organized as a non-profit
501(c)(4) organization and exempt from
requirements that it reveal its donors,
together accounted for $37.5 million of the
$390 million in independent expenditures
disclosed to the FEC in the 2009-10 election
cycle. For the 2011-12 election cycle, these
two groups have accounted for 28
percent—$1.2 million of $4.3 million—
disclosed to the FEC as of October 2011.
Crossroads GPS is one of four groups whose
tax-exempt status was challenged in a
September 2011 letter to the IRS from the
Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21.
“The idea that these organizations are
social welfare groups is nonsense,” wrote
Fred Wertheimer, President of Democracy
21. “The groups have sought tax-exempt
status under section 501(c)(4) in order to
keep secret from the American people the
donors financing their campaign
expenditures.”
“The idea that these organizations are social
welfare groups is nonsense. The groups have sought
tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) in order
to keep secret from the American
people the
Regulation
donors financing their campaign expenditures.”
A Failure to Regula
- Fred Wertheimer, President of Democracy 21
9
Regulation
Failure to Regulate
When the EPA announced in 2000 that it
was designing a study to investigate the
potential for groundwater contamination
from hydraulic fracturing, the United States
Department of Energy warned that
regulations could hinder economic growth
in the industry.4 When released in 2004, the
EPA study concluded that the process is
environmentally harmless, and then-Vice
President Dick Cheney and his former
employer Halliburton used this finding to
insert language into the 2005 Energy Policy
Act to exempt fracking from regulation
under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Current
members of Congress who voted for this bill
have received an average of $73,433 from
industry, while current members who voted
against the bill have received an average of
$10,894.
When the EPA study was released in June
2004, many environmentalists criticized it
for not adequately testing the potential for
fracking to contaminate groundwater. Then,
in October 2004, EPA environmental
engineer Weston Wilson sought protection
under the Federal Whistleblower Protection
Act and charged that five of the seven
members of the study’s external peer
review panel of experts had conflicts of
interest (three of those five were at the
time employed by the gas industry) and
criticized its authors for making no attempt
to investigate the migration of methane as
a result of fracking. Highlighting the fact
that the agency could come to such
concrete conclusions despite the fact that,
as written in the report, the “EPA was
unable to find complete chemical analyses
of any fracturing fluids,” Wilson called the
study’s findings “scientifically unsound and
contrary to the purposes of the [Safe
Drinking Water Act].”5
The industry’s exemption from the Safe
Drinking Water Act has been called “the
Halliburton loophole,” but the industry’s
political influence runs much deeper. The
New York Times has reported that the
findings of a 1987 EPA study were also
heavily influenced by the industry. ''It was
like the science didn't matter. The industry
was going to get what it wanted, and we
were not supposed to stand in the way,”
said Carla Greathouse, author of the 1987
EPA study.6 The Times has also noted that
the industry is exempt from seven of the 15
major laws designed to protect air and
water from contamination by harmful
substances, including the Clean Air Act,
Clean Water Act, and the Superfund Act.
''It was like the science didn't
matter. The industry was going to
get what it wanted, and we were not
supposed to stand in the way.”
-Carla Greathouse, author of 1987 EPA study
10
Regulation
Can the Natural Gas Industry Regulate Itself?
The fight to keep fracking largely free from
federal regulation has been led by some of
the biggest recipients of fracking money in
Congress. The FRAC Act, a bill that would
eliminate the “Halliburton loophole,”
remains bottled up in the House Energy &
Commerce Committee, whose chair, Rep.
Fred Upton (R-MI), has received $153,917
from the industry. After Secretary of the
Interior Ken Salazar announced plans to
regulate fracking through his department
Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) and Rep. Tim
Murphy (R-PA), who co-chair the House
Natural Gas Caucus, sent Salazar a letter in
January 2011 urging him not to act until
completion of a new study by the EPA.7
Boren ranks eighth among all members of
Congress with $328,300 in contributions
from companies engaged in fracking.
Murphy ranks tenth with $275,499.8
Most recently, the Securities and Exchange
Commission has stepped in and begun
asking drillers to confidentially disclose
which chemicals they are using in hydraulic
fracturing as a way of determining these
companies’ potential liabilities for frackingrelated damage to the environment.
Confidential disclosure addresses the
industry’s long-standing objection to public
release of proprietary information about
fracking fluid. Yet even this modest step
was opposed by Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM)
at a September 2011 hearing of the
Committee on Financial Services. Pearce,
whose campaigns have collected $351,650
from fracking interests, more than all but
five other current lawmakers, suggested
that SEC Chair Mary Schapiro’s concerns
about having insufficient resources for her
agency were ill-founded at a time when her
agency was “drifting off into this
environmental question.”9
Such extraordinarily lax government
oversight leaves the industry, in many cases,
free to regulate itself. But in May of this
year, the shareholders of Chevron and
ExxonMobil rejected proposals calling for
more disclosure of the environmental
impacts and risks of drilling for natural gas.10
Current members of Congress
who voted for the “Halliburton
loophole” have received an
average of $73,433 from the
industry, while current members
who voted against the bill have
received an average of $10,894.
11
The industry’s failure to abide by its
promise not to use diesel fuel in fracking
highlights the dangers of relying on selfregulation. In 2003, the EPA and the three
major fracturing companies at the time
(Halliburton, BJ Services, and Schlumberger)
signed a voluntary memorandum of
agreement (MOA) to discontinue the use of
diesel fuel in fracking fluids. In an inquiry
initiated by the Energy and Commerce
Committee’s then-chairman, Rep. Henry
Waxman (D-CA), Halliburton and BJ Services
were found to have knowingly violated the
MOA between 2005 and 2007; the
committee concluded that the companies
used fracking fluid with hundreds of
thousands of gallons of diesel fuel
containing chemicals that have confirmed
negative health effects.11,12
Even after the EPA gained authority to
regulate the use of diesel fuel in fracking
fluids, Reps. Waxman, Edward J. Markey (DMA), and Dianna DeGette (D-CO)
discovered that the practice had continued
in apparent violation of federal law. A letter
released by the three in January 2011
stated: “The congressional investigation
finds that oil and gas service companies
have injected over 32 million gallons of
diesel fuel or hydraulic fracturing fluids
containing diesel fuel in wells in 19 states
between 2005 and 2009. In addition, the
investigation finds that no oil and gas
service companies have sought – and no
state and federal regulators have issued –
permits for diesel fuel use in hydraulic
fracturing, which appears to be a violation
of the Safe Drinking Water Act.”
Even after the EPA gained authority to
regulate the use of diesel fuel in fracking
fluids, Reps. Waxman, Edward J. Markey (DMA), and Dianna DeGette (D-CO)
discovered that the practice had continued
in apparent violation of federal law.
12
Regulation
Regulation in the States
The natural gas industry’s success in
Congress contrasts starkly with the “go
slow” or “don’t go” approach that a
growing number of state and local elected
officials are taking toward fracking. New
Jersey has imposed a one-year moratorium
on fracking until its risks to the environment
and human health can be further studied.
New York imposed a six-month moratorium
that expired in July 2011, while Maryland
has effectively halted fracking by ordering a
three-year environmental impact study.
Several municipalities have banned fracking
entirely, including Pittsburgh, PA; Albany,
Ithaca, and Buffalo, NY; and Morgantown
and Westover, West Virginia.
Two states that have long depended on oil
and gas revenues, Texas and Wyoming,
have taken the lead on requiring disclosure
of fracking chemicals. Fracking using vertical
wells has been conducted in both states
since the 1950s, and unlike some states
where the fracking boom is just beginning,
both states have ample evidence of the
threats to human health from drillingrelated pollution.13,14 In 2010, Wyoming
became the first state to issue regulations
requiring disclosure of fracking chemicals.
Meanwhile Texas, which has ranked as one
of the worst states for per capita spending
on maintaining water quality15, became the
first state to pass a law requiring disclosure
of fracking chemicals in June 2011.
Additional in-depth studies of the natural
gas industry’s political spending in
Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and
Michigan are available at
commoncause.org/fracking2012
13
Conclusion
The absence of strong federal regulation
means that states with little or no fracking
may still find their water supplies at risk of
pollution produced outside their
boundaries. In 2009, the group American
Riverkeeper declared the Delaware River,
which provides water to 15 million people
in four states, to be the most endangered
river in the country. In 2010, the group
declared the Susquehanna River, which
provides drinking water to six million
people in Pennsylvania and Maryland, to be
the most endangered.
The ability of the natural gas industry to tap
vast new reserves through fracking is a
good metaphor for its enhanced political
clout in the post-Citizens United era, in
which the industry and its backers can now
spend unlimited amounts of money on
electioneering, often in secret. A full and
fair debate about the degree to which the
natural gas industry should be more
transparent about the chemicals used in
fracking, and more forthcoming about their
potential to damage the environment and
human health, depends on forcing the
industry to more fully disclose its political
expenditures.
Recommendations
I.
II.
III.
Independent political expenditures should be disclosed in a timely manner so the
public can better understand their impact on Congressional elections.
As with all corporations, the shareholders of natural gas companies should have the
right to approve or disapprove any political expenditures by their companies, and
the extent of corporations’ political expenditures should be disclosed to their
shareholders.
The U.S. Senate should join the U.S. House in requiring that reports of campaign
contributions be filed electronically.
14
About This Report
“Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets In Congress” was written and researched by James Browning and
Alex Kaplan, with additional research by Jaron Raab and John Ammon. This is the third in a
series of Common Cause studies of political spending by the natural gas industry.
The previous two studies of political spending by the industry in New York and Pennsylvania are
available at www.commoncause.org/ny and www.commoncause.org/pa.
Cover design by Anagramist (www.anagramist.com)
Figure 10
Top 100 current members of Congress by campaign money received from the fracking industry, 2001-June 11
Rank
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
Total $
514,945
417,556
372,450
367,925
357,788
351,650
329,000
328,300
326,149
275,499
257,950
244,050
237,775
230,860
223,797
216,233
215,349
211,720
203,453
197,150
194,550
191,700
187,795
186,900
186,300
182,149
173,100
160,750
154,900
154,627
153,917
152,032
144,603
144,150
142,350
137,250
136,150
127,050
127,009
124,500
123,800
123,546
123,271
121,350
118,300
117,700
115,900
115,050
111,800
109,150
PACs
410,895
202,400
232,000
271,000
204,800
329,000
225,900
270,050
253,499
178,397
191,750
166,500
182,000
175,500
180,250
198,483
179,499
140,370
138,903
191,500
121,300
150,000
152,995
173,500
180,000
151,849
159,500
106,300
139,000
138,927
143,000
91,000
112,205
129,200
125,500
128,600
93,000
118,750
111,500
124,500
98,500
108,000
106,271
96,500
104,000
110,500
108,500
38,250
96,500
97,000
Individuals
104,050
215,156
140,450
96,925
152,988
22,650
103,100
58,250
72,650
97,102
66,200
77,550
55,775
55,360
43,547
17,750
35,850
71,350
64,550
5,650
73,250
41,700
34,800
13,400
6,300
30,300
13,600
54,450
15,900
15,700
10,917
61,032
32,398
14,950
16,850
8,650
43,150
8,300
15,509
0
25,300
15,546
17,000
24,850
14,300
7,200
7,400
76,800
15,300
12,150
Loophole Vote
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
Not in office
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
Not in office
Not in office
Against
In Favor
Not in office
Not voting
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
Not in office
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
Not in office
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
Not in office
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
Not in office
In Favor
Not in office
In Favor
In Favor
Chamber
House
Senate
Senate
Senate
Senate
House
House
House
Senate
House
Senate
Senate
House
Senate
House
Senate
House
House
House
House
Senate
House
House
House
House
House
House
Senate
Senate
House
House
Senate
House
Senate
House
Senate
House
House
Senate
House
House
Senate
House
Senate
Senate
House
House
House
Senate
Senate
Party
R
R
R
D
R
R
R
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
D
R
R
R
D
R
R
R
R
R
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
Name
Barton, Joe
Cornyn, John
Murkowski, Lisa
Landrieu, Mary
Inhofe, Jim
Pearce, Steve
Sullivan, John
Boren, Dan
Blunt, Roy
Murphy, Tim
McConnell, Mitch
Barrasso, John
Young, Don
Vitter, David
Matheson, Jim
Burr, Richard
Lummis, Cynthia M.
Cole, Tom
Dingell, John
Brady, Kevin
Wicker, Roger
Sessions, Pete
Culberson, John
Boehner, John A.
Green, Gene
Hall, Ralph M.
Cantor, Eric
Toomey, Pat
Enzi, Mike
Camp, Dave
Upton, Fred
Hoeven, John
Capito, Shelley M.
Chambliss, Saxby
Ross, Mike
Thune, John
Lucas, Frank
Rehberg, Dennis
DeMint, Jim
Shimkus, John
Conaway, K. Michael
Grassley, Chuck
Hastings, Doc
Baucus, Max
Coburn, Tom
McCarthy, Kevin
Boustany Jr., Charles
Lankford, James
Hatch, Orrin
Crapo, Mike
State
TX
TX
AK
LA
OK
NM
OK
OK
MO
PA
KY
WY
AK
LA
UT
NC
WY
OK
MI
TX
MS
TX
TX
OH
TX
TX
VA
PA
WY
MI
MI
ND
WV
GA
AR
SD
OK
MT
SC
IL
TX
IA
WA
MT
OK
CA
LA
OK
UT
ID
15
Committee
Energy & Comm.
Env. & Pub. Works
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
Env. & Pub. Works
Env. & Pub. Works
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
Env. & Pub. Works
Env. & Pub. Works
Top 100 current members of Congress by campaign money received from the fracking industry, 2001-June 11
Rank
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
Total $
109,146
108,900
106,350
103,550
103,450
102,500
102,500
102,400
101,329
99,800
97,395
97,350
96,600
93,150
93,125
92,700
91,000
87,829
87,595
87,100
86,000
85,250
82,600
82,600
81,489
80,700
80,100
80,000
77,500
76,750
75,300
73,750
73,000
71,650
70,550
70,500
69,600
68,076
67,600
66,725
66,550
66,270
66,200
66,100
65,800
65,635
65,350
64,350
64,200
63,750
PACs
107,200
99,500
61,000
61,000
92,500
99,500
80,250
95,000
56,000
92,000
26,498
84,000
75,500
51,500
87,575
85,500
90,000
73,429
33,745
81,500
73,500
82,500
75,000
78,000
0
73,000
39,500
79,000
72,750
73,500
56,400
73,750
73,000
51,600
61,500
68,000
65,000
53,000
57,500
59,000
49,000
66,270
38,900
62,500
51,500
32,010
59,000
42,250
51,000
54,000
Individuals
1,946
9,400
45,350
42,550
10,950
3,000
22,250
7,400
45,329
7,800
70,897
13,350
21,100
41,650
5,550
7,200
1,000
14,400
53,850
5,600
12,500
2,750
7,600
4,600
81,489
7,700
40,600
1,000
4,750
3,250
18,900
0
0
20,050
9,050
2,500
4,600
15,076
10,100
7,725
17,550
0
27,300
3,600
14,300
33,625
6,350
22,100
13,200
9,750
Loophole Vote
In Favor
Against
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
Not in office
In Favor
Not in office
In Favor
Not in office
In Favor
In Favor
Not voting
Not in office
In Favor
In Favor
Not in office
Against
Not in office
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
Against
Not in office
In Favor
Not in office
Not in office
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
In Favor
Not in office
In Favor
Not in office
In Favor
Not in office
Not in office
Not in office
Not in office
In Favor
Not in office
Chamber
House
House
House
House
House
House
Senate
House
Senate
Senate
Senate
Senate
House
Senate
House
Senate
Senate
House
Senate
Senate
House
Senate
House
Senate
Senate
House
Senate
House
House
House
House
House
House
House
House
House
Senate
Senate
House
House
House
Senate
House
House
Senate
House
Senate
House
House
Senate
Party
R
D
R
R
R
R
D
R
D
R
D
R
R
D
R
R
R
R
D
R
D
R
R
D
D
R
D
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
D
R
D
R
R
R
R
Name
Rogers (MI), Mike J
Hoyer, Steny H.
Hensarling, Jeb
Johnson, Sam
Burgess, Michael
Walden, Greg
Nelson, Ben
Davis, Geoff
Begich, Mark
Isakson, Johnny
Manchin, Joe
Alexander, Lamar
Lamborn, Doug
Rockefeller, Jay
Whitfield, Ed
Sessions, Jeff
Portman, Rob
Granger, Kay
Bennet, Michael
Moran, Jerry
Costa, Jim
Corker, Bob
Poe, Ted
Bingaman, Jeff
Stabenow, Debbie
Issa, Darrell
Pryor, Mark
Barrow, John
Gardner, Cory
Carter, John
Olson, Pete
Scalise, Steve
Nunes, Devin
Bishop, Rob
Simpson, Mike
Terry, Lee
Roberts, Pat
Collins, Susan
Mica, John
McCaul, Michael T.
McKinley, David
Hutchison, Kay Bailey
Flores, Bill
Cuellar, Henry
Ayotte, Kelly
Altmire, Jason
Coats, Dan
Griffin, Tim
Marchant, Kenny
Kirk, Mark
State
MI
MD
TX
TX
TX
OR
NE
KY
AK
GA
WV
TN
CO
WV
KY
AL
OH
TX
CO
KS
CA
TN
TX
NM
MI
CA
AR
GA
CO
TX
TX
LA
CA
UT
ID
NE
KS
ME
FL
TX
WV
TX
TX
TX
NH
PA
IN
AR
TX
IL
16
Committee
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
Env. & Pub. Works
Energy & Comm.
Env. & Pub. Works
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
Energy & Comm.
-
17
101 S. 2nd St., Suite 3 | Harrisburg, PA 17101 | p: 717-232-9951 | [email protected]
www.commoncause.org/pa | www.facebook.com/commoncausepa
18
Figure 11
Top Pennsylvania members of Congress as recipients of fracking money, 2001-2010
Rank
Total
PACs
10
275,499
178,397
28
160,750
106,300
96
104
108
114
122
65,635
60,800
59,000
56,500
52,000
Individuals
32,010
59,600
57,000
56,000
44,500
Loophole Vote
Chamber
Party
Name
State
97,102
In Favor
House
R
Murphy, Tim
PA
54,450
Not in office
Senate
R
Toomey, Pat
PA
33,625
1,200
2,000
500
7,500
Not in office
Against
In Favor
In Favor
Not in office
House
House
House
House
House
D
R
R
R
R
Altmire, Jason
Gerlach, Jim
Shuster, Bill
Dent, Charles W.
Thompson, Glenn W.
District
18
Committee
En. & Comm.
-
PA
04
-
PA
06
-
PA
09
-
PA
15
-
PA
05
En. & Comm.
144
45,700
37,250
8,450
In Favor
House
D
Doyle, Mike
PA
14
165
33,750
33,750
0
Against
House
R
Fitzpatrick, Michael G.
PA
08
-
167
32,000
32,000
0
In Favor
House
R
Pitts, Joseph R.
PA
16
En. & Comm.
PA
07
-
PA
12
-
PA
11
-
Kelly, Mike
PA
03
-
180
181
213
27,650
27,541
19,750
25,000
26,291
19,250
269
11,750
0
287
9,700
330
5,500
344
364
t438
t438
t438
2,650
1,250
500
Not in office
Not in office
Not in office
House
House
House
R
D
R
Meehan, Pat
Critz, Mark
Barletta, Lou
11,750
Not in office
House
R
9,000
700
Not in office
Senate
D
Casey, Bob
PA
0
5,500
Against
House
D
Schwartz, Allyson
PA
13
-
4,500
4,500
0
In Favor
House
D
Holden, Tim
PA
17
-
3,000
3,000
0
Not in office
House
R
Marino, Tom
PA
10
-
PA
02
-
PA
19
-
PA
01
-
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Against
In Favor
In Favor
House
House
House
D
R
D
Fattah, Chaka
Platts, Todd
Brady, Robert
-
19
Pennsylvania
Even before the election of Gov. Tom
Corbett in 2010, Pennsylvania was
considered “the sweet spot” for fracking by
the natural gas industry’s Marcellus Shale
Coalition. The state’s regulatory scheme is
weak; it levies no severance tax,
insufficiently funds its corps of safety
inspectors and is the only state to allow
drillers to dump fracking wastewater in its
waterways.
Natural gas interests have shown their
appreciation by investing generously in the
campaigns of state leaders. Through the
end of 2010, Gov. Corbett was the state’s
all-time leading recipient of campaign
contributions from the industry, with $1.6
million; other Pennsylvania candidates,
parties, and elected officials received $6.1
million from industry donors from 20012010.
After promising during his campaign that he
would not impose a severance tax, Corbett
in 2011 endorsed a 1% “impact fee,” with
most of the revenue going to communities
where fracking is occurring. Corbett’s
proposed fee is so low that, according the
Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center,
“Drillers in Texas will pay five times as much
in drilling taxes over the life of a
comparable deep well as they will in the
Marcellus Shale under the House plan.”16
Among states where a fracking boom is
underway, only Pennsylvania and Texas fail
to limit campaign contributions, allowing
the industry to pour unlimited amounts of
money into the campaign coffers of its
supporters. And tracking those donations is
problematic. The Pennsylvania Department
of State’s database of campaign
contributions, widely criticized as clunky
and user-unfriendly, got even worse in
2011. As exposed by Common Cause
Pennsylvania in February 201117, budget
cuts forced the Department of State to stop
entering contribution reports filed by paper
into its database. This means that during a
period of rapid expansion for fracking in
Pennsylvania, and through the first months
of the term of a new, pro-fracking governor,
accurate information about the extent of
the industry’s campaign contributions was
not available.
From 2001 through 2010, the fracking
industry gave $6.1 million to all
Pennsylvania candidates, parties and
elected officials.
20
Figure 12
Fracking money to Pennsylvania state candidates, 2001-2010
Contributions to candidates for PA state office
$1,600,000
$1,343,000
$1,400,000
Total Amount Contributed
$1,200,000
$1,000,000
$797,000
$740,000
$800,000
$688,000
$600,000
$400,000
$389,000
$248,000
$343,000
$200,000
$250,000
$159,000
$160,000
$0
2001
2002
2003
2004
The natural gas industry has also taken
advantage of Pennsylvania’s lax law
covering gifts to elected officials,
generously rewarding its supporters in the
state legislature. In February 2011, it was
revealed that Consol Energy had paid for a
Super Bowl junket, including flights and
accommodations, for Sen. President Joe
Scarnati (R) and State Sen. Tim Solobay (D).
Scarnati is the second biggest recipient of
campaign contributions from the industry,
with $282,034. After opposing a severance
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
tax supported by Gov. Ed Rendell (D) in
2010, Scarnati supported Gov. Corbett’s
proposal for a 1% impact fee. Yet an impact
fee bill passed by the House Finance
Committee in November 2011, HB 1950,
appears to be a Trojan Horse for items on
the industry’s wish list; the bill would forbid
counties from regulating fracking on their
own, and would create a system of “deluxe
permitting” whereby drillers seeking
permits could pay extra and receive a
private review of their application.
Campaign Contributions
& the Rise of Gas Drilling in Pennsylvania
21
A look at contributions to candidates for Pennsylvania state government offices since 2001 tells
the story of the industry’s interest in drilling the Keystone State. A May 2011 analysis by
Common Cause Pennsylvania of data obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State
found $6.1 million in contributions by natural gas corporate PACs and executives to
Pennsylvania candidates and parties from 2001 through 2010; contributions mushroomed
beginning in 2008 as the industry came to recognize the potential profitability of Pennsylvania’s
unique geographical and regulatory positioning.
In-Office Officials
Of the $5.1 million donated to Pennsylvania candidates since 2001, $3.38 million went
to elected officials still in office in May 2011. Almost half of this amount, at $1.6 million, was
donated to the campaigns of Republican Governor Tom Corbett, whose “no severance tax”
campaign pledge made him the favorite of industry executives.
Figure 13
Pennsylvania’s top 20 state-level recipients of fracking industry money
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
Name
Corbett, Tom
Scarnati, Joseph B., III
Reed, Dave
Turzai, Mike
White, Donald C.
Corman, Jake
Smith, Samuel H.
DeWeese, H. William
Solobay, Timothy J.
Pileggi, Dominic
Piccola, Jeffrey E.
Orie, Jane Clare
Pyle, Jeffrey P.
Metcalfe, Daryl D.
Pippy, John
Tomlinson, Robert M.
Robbins, Robert D.
Kasunic, Richard A
Ellis, Brian L.
Preston, Joseph , Jr.
Office
Governor
Senate
House
House
Senate
Senate
House
House
Senate
Senate
Senate
Senate
House
House
Senate
Senate
Senate
Senate
House
House
District
0
25
62
28
41
34
66
50
46
9
15
40
60
12
37
6
50
32
11
24
Party
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
D
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
D
R
D
Enviro. Comm.
yes
yes
subchair
-
Total
$1,634,097
$282,034
$105,732
$79,100
$69,125
$65,640
$58,000
$53,300
$48,475
$48,250
$46,850
$39,650
$35,902
$33,100
$31,775
$31,300
$30,400
$25,250
$23,300
$22,125
Party Preference - $931,674 donated by industry to party PACs from 2001-2010
The industry heavily favored Republicans over Democrats, with $3 million going to
Republican officeholders, compared to $401,000 to in-office Democrats. Republican Party PACs
collected $805,450, compared to $126,125 for Democratic Party PACs.
22
No Campaign Contribution Limits
Corbett benefitted especially from Pennsylvania’s lack of contributions limits, receiving
single direct contributions as much as $150,000. Of the total 4,795 donations from industry
PACs or executives to all Pennsylvania candidates from 2001 through 2010, 228 exceeded the
$2,500 limit imposed by the Federal Elections Commission on donations to federal candidates.
These 228 donations, just 5% of the total number of donations, accounted for $2,669,344, or
52% of the overall $5.1 million donated by the industry to Pennsylvania candidates.
Recommendations for Pennsylvania
I.
II.
III.
IV.
Contribution Limits. The current system allows big political donors to wield
extraordinary influence over the political process in Pennsylvania, even as they face
relatively little scrutiny, compared to many other states. Pennsylvania should limit
contributions from both individuals and PAC’s to candidates for state and local
offices. A recommended limit for General Assembly candidates would be $1,000 per
election cycle. For statewide offices, limits should not exceed the maximums set by
the Federal Election Campaign Act for federal candidates. Donors should also have
an aggregate limit on contributions made to all candidates during an election cycle.
A Better System of Disclosure. Pennsylvania should require all candidates to file
campaign contribution reports electronically. Electronic files obtainable from the
Pennsylvania Department of State are not well standardized and often are rife with
typographical errors, forcing multiple searches based on name, address, and
employer to ensure the complete collection of relevant data. For example, a simple
search for Consol Energy should not require additional searches to discover
contributions under the names Colsol, Consal, and Consoe. Due to reporting errors
by campaign treasurers, the database is also rife with duplicates.18
More frequent disclosure of campaign contributions. Pennsylvania should require
the quarterly disclosure of campaign contributions during non-election years.
Citizens should not have to wait for as long as 12 months to learn about the
influence of campaign contributions from key supporters of legislative and
regulatory efforts. In election years, legislative candidates should be subjected to
the same disclosure schedule as statewide candidates – adding a report due on the
6th Friday prior to an election.
Ban Gifts to Elected Officials. Pennsylvania should make it illegal to give a public
official more than $100 in gifts in a year and should require disclosure of all gifts
given.
About this report
This report is made possible by the contributions of our members and by the generous support
of The Park Foundation and The Woodtiger Fund.
23
24
References
1
Lustgarten, Abrahm. “Buried Secrets: Is Natural Gas Drilling Endangering U.S. Water Supplies?” ProPublica.
Nov 13 2008. Web. http://www.propublica.org/feature/buried-secrets-is-natural-gas-drillingendangering-us-water-supplies-1113
2
Annual energy outlook 2011 early release overview. DOE/EIA-0383ER(2011). Energy
Information Agency, U.S. Department of Energy. http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/pdf/0383er(2011).pdf
3
Maykuth, Andrew. “In PA, Rove Tells Drillers To Expect ‘Sensible Regulation.’” Philadelphia Inquirer Nov 4 2010.
4
“EPA urged to go slow on drilling regulations.” Bloomberg News. 13 Aug. 2000. Web.
5
Wilson, Weston. “Letter from EPA fracking study whistleblower Weston Wilson.” Earthworks. 8 Oct 2004.
http://www.earthworksaction.org/pubs/Weston.pdf
6
Urbina, Ian. “Pressure Limits Efforts To Police Drilling for Gas.” The New York Times 3 Mar, 2011.
7
Natural Gas Caucus. Web. http://naturalgascaucus.murphy.house.gov
8
Klimasinskia, Katarzyna. “Lawmakers Oppose Gas Extraction Rules.” Tulsa World 7 Jan, 2011.
9
Committee On Financial Services, Hearing entitled “Fixing the Watchdog: Legislative Proposals to Improve and
Enhance the Securities and Exchange Commission.” Thursday, September 15, 2011.
10
“ExxonMobil Tries Assuring Shareholders Fracking Is Safe.” Associated Press 26 May, 2011.
11
Memorandum. “Examining the Potential Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing.” Committee on Energy and Commerce,
Chairman Henry A. Waxman. 18 Feb 2010.
http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20100218/hydraulic_fracturing_memo.pdf
12
Soraghan, Mike. “Two Oil-Field Companies Acknowledge Fracking With Diesel.” The New York Times 19 Feb 2010.
13
“Emissions From Natural Gas Production in the Barnett Shale Area and Opportunities for Cost-Effective
Improvements,” by Al Armendariz, Ph.D., Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, Southern
Methodist University, published July 26, 2009
14
Farr, Derek. “Sublette Nonattainment Recommended.” Sublette Examiner 18 May, 2009.
15
Vegter, Brandon. “The Lone Star Ranking.” Texas Center for Policy Studies, Fall 1999.
16
Ward, Sharon. “An Impact Fee Gift Wrapped for Drillers.” Third and State. Pennsylvania Budget and Policy
Center. 4 Nov 2011. http://thirdandstate.org/2011/november/impact-fee-gift-wrapped-drillers
17
Brennan, Chris. “PA Will Have Less Campaign Finance Info On-Line.” Philadelphia Daily News. 18 February 2011
18
Duplicate contributions that appeared in the DOS database were deleted by Common Cause/PA and not
included in this study.
1133 19th Street NW | Washington, D.C. 20036 | 202-833-1200 | [email protected]
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