Much like the stain of its oil creeping across the Gulf of Mexico, BP's cash flowed freely to politicians inside the Beltway—to the tune of some $3.5 million over two decades, reports Politico in a look at where the oil giant's dollars went. Add to that the $15.9 million BP spent last year on lobbying, and its influence multiplies. The No. 1 recipient? One Barack Obama, who took in $77,000 as a senator and presidential candidate.
Members of the House energy committee grabbed $37,000 from BP in 2008; the Senate Homeland Security Committee (which oversees security issues dealing with US oil supply) took in $106,501. Individual legislators who cashed in:
- Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska—$73,300
- Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.—$44,899
- Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio (home to BP refinery)—$41,400
- Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.—$28,000