Energy Sector Gave Nearly Half of Donations to Pruitt PAC

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Nearly half of the contributions given to a federal political action committee closely tied to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt came from the energy industry, according to Federal Election Commission documents.

The donations reflect the friendly relationship Pruitt has had with Oklahoma’s signature industry during his six years as attorney general. That relationship is now under renewed scrutiny after President-elect Donald Trump this week picked Pruitt to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which Pruitt has sued to overturn rules and regulations, including carbon emission standards.

In late 2014, the New York Times wrote of Pruitt’s close ties to the industry, in terms of crafting policy and in sizable donations to Pruitt’s state attorney general campaign committee.

Late last year, Oklahoma Watch reported the existence of two federal PACs that were housed in Pruitt’s Tulsa office, with Pruitt campaign consultants and staff working for them.

According to the most recent FEC filing for one PAC, Liberty 2.0, the energy industry gave $193,500, or 46 percent, of a total $420,011 raised from the beginning of 2015 to Sept. 30 this year.

Documents showing donations and expenditures for the rest of 2016 are not due to be filed until the end of January 2017.

Liberty 2.0 is a so-called “Super PAC” that can raise unlimited sums and spend money on advertising that supports or opposes candidates, but without coordinating with them.

The second federal political action committee tied to Pruitt – Oklahoma Strong Leadership – has raised nearly $327,000 since it was formed in 2015. Twenty percent came from the energy industry. That PAC that can accept limited contributions and donate to multiple candidates. In federal election filings, the PAC states it supported former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, along with U.S. Sens. James Lankford and Jim Inhofe, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

All told, 27 percent of the nearly three-quarters of a million dollars raised by the groups was energy money, including from company executives, corporations, advocacy groups, and industry-tied political action committees. The energy donors represent the natural gas, oil, and coal industries, as well as power generation companies.

Although both groups raised substantial money, little was spent on advertising or donations, FEC records show.

Of the $318,941 spent since 2015 by Oklahoma Strong Leadership, only $31,350 was in the form of contributions, and no independent expenditures, which such groups often make on behalf of candidates. Of the $261,865 spent since 2015 by Liberty 2.0, a single $50,000 donation, to the federal Senate Leadership Fund PAC, was made on the last day of the filing period. The group made no independent expenditures.

  • JTS

    Government to the highest bidder. The swamp grows.

  • Guest

    This is the same guy that unsuccessfully sued Colorado for legalizing cannabis. His 10th Amendment interpretation is based solely on greed. And government overreach concerns? How about civil asset forfeiture Mr Pruitt? This swamp monster doesn’t care about the Bill of Rights. He cares about special interest (his own).

  • We make food with energy, so foolish energy policy that needlessly raises the cost of energy also raises the cost of food worldwide. The higher the cost of food, the more innocent people die of malnutrition and related illness. Very few politicians understand or even care about this proven fact. I keep telling them to remember this basic equation.

    FOOD = ENERGY & ENERGY = FOOD

    The only worthwhile renewable energy schemes for large scale energy production are reliable and continuous hydroelectric and geothermal power. Biofuels, solar, and wind power do far more harm than good, and even the United States Government’s own National Research Council found that wind and solar reduce CO2 emissions to such a inconsequential extent they are not worth subsidizing. The NRC found that biofuel farming increases greenhouse gas emissions rather than decreasing them. Biofuels, wind, and solar schemes all have very low energy density, which means they produce large ecological footprints. Diffuse and weak energy sources require costly, monster sized structures to collect that dispersed energy.

    Please Google *The Renewable Energy Disaster* website.

    • Miles Deodatis

      You’ve lost the plot. Increased usage of fossil fuels will increase average temperatures (already more than 1°C worldwide and climbing). This leads to sea level rise which dramatically affects coastal communities in the United States, changes levels of ocean acidity which can kill massive numbers of fish. This causes ripple effects in the food chain and could in turn deplete food supply as people have less options.

      • The is the hype, not the proven fact.

        As a scientific theory, man made climate change due to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels has as many loopholes as a rodeo, and is about as accurate as astrology. It has succeeded in the marketplace of ideas only because it makes such a compelling story, a new age replacement for Christianity with mother nature on the cross instead of Jesus. Can you imagine Albert Einstein branding anyone who does not believe in his theories “traitors,” “heretics,” and “deniers”? If we don’t do what the high priests of climate change say, we will all burn in the hell of global warming. Green scams are now an enormous business worldwide, thriving on an idea that is contradicted by the provable facts, including the ancient ice core records.

        If you watch *Climate Hysteria* on YouTube, your belief in Al Gore’s religion will be shaken. The first five minutes is Congressional testimony about the junk science paid for by our politicians. If you pay people to find a predetermined conclusion, the scientific method is flushed down the toilet.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO1ukCq9vlw