Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released a new report detailing how congressional candidates are benefitting from companies operating hydraulically fractured wells and trade associations supporting the fracking industry.
In the new report, Natural Cash: How the Fracking Industry Fuels Congress, CREW — utilizing federal campaign contribution data tracked by MapLight — found contributions from the industry to House and Senate candidates from districts and states home to fracking activity rose by 231 percent between the 2004 and 2012 election cycles, from approximately $2.1 million to $6.9 million. In contrast, industry contributions to candidates from nonfracking districts rose by 131 percent, from approximately $2.2 million to $5.1 million, over the same time period.
“Like many industries under increasing scrutiny, the fracking industry has responded by ratcheting up campaign donations to help make new friends in Congress,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “As CREW’s report shows, the fracking boom isn’t just good for the industry, but also for congressional candidates in fracking districts.”
The steady increases in federal campaign contributions from the fracking industry correlate with the intensifying debate over whether the federal government should have more oversight of the industry. For example, the biggest increase in industry contributions — nearly 41 percent between the 2010 and 2012 election cycles — came at a time when Congress was actively debating fracking.
TVNL Comment: Read the report here.