You are hereBloomberg: Oil Group Starts Political Giving as Congress Weighs Repeal of Tax Breaks

Bloomberg: Oil Group Starts Political Giving as Congress Weighs Repeal of Tax Breaks

February 24, 2011- The American Petroleum Institute, the largest oil and gas industry trade group, will start backing political candidates this year as the U.S. considers repealing $46 billion in subsidies and imposing pollution rules.

The group, whose members include Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., would make donations separately from industry executives and employees, who gave $27.6 million mostly to Republican candidates for Congress last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington. API has paid for advertising on policy issues and to lobby on legislation.

“This is adding one more tool to our toolkit,” said Martin Durbin, API’s executive vice president for government affairs, in an interview. “At the end of the day, our mission is trying to influence the policy debate.”

The Obama administration is proposing to end tax breaks for energy companies and to limit greenhouse-gas emissions, actions the API says will cost jobs and cut domestic production as fuel costs rise.

Durbin declined to say how much the Washington-based group hoped to donate. API spent $7.3 million to lobby Congress and the White House last year, ranking seventh behind six oil-and- gas companies, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Former Republican and Democratic aides in Congress and from the White House lobby for the group. They include David Castagnetti, an ex-chief of staff to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, and Bruce Mehlman, a Commerce Department official under George W. Bush.




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