BP Resumes Flow of Political Contributions — Mostly to Republicans

Wednesday, 20 Apr 2011 12:20 PM

By Dan Weil

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For nearly a year after the deadly and environmentally catastrophic blowout of BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil well, the petroleum giant refrained from political contributions, but now it’s back in the game, donating almost exclusively to Republicans, The Hill reports. But at least one House member says he’ll return the cash.

The company gave $5,000 to House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, according to a campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday. BP declined to comment on The Hill’s report.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton garnered $5,000, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp received $1,000. Upton told The Hill he isn’t accepting the contribution and will return it to BP.
The National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee both accepted $5,000 donations from the company.

The only Democrat included in the donations was Rep. Pete Visclosky of Indiana, who received $3,000 March 22.

Members of Congress haven’t accepted contributions from BP since early April 2010, when Visclosky and Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., received $1,000 each.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama marked the April 20 one-year anniversary of the disaster by pledging to continue helping the recovery and restoration effort, according to The Hill.

“Significant” progress has been made, but “the job isn’t done,” Obama said.

The well explosion killed 11 workers and resulted in the release of 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf.

“That catastrophic event deeply affected the lives of millions of Americans, from local fishermen to restaurant and hotel owners and small businesses throughout the region,” Obama said. He promised to see to it that the Gulf Coast “recovers stronger than before.”

His administration has been criticized for a slow and disjointed response to the crisis, but the president said it “brought every available resource to bear” in gathering tens of thousands of workers to address the spill.

“We continue to hold BP and other responsible parties fully accountable for the damage they’ve done and the painful losses that they’ve caused,” Obama said.

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