Politicians Invested in Oil and Gas Stocks

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Politicians have invested in oil and gas stocks to varying degrees. A report by Sludge found that 58 of the 100 members of Congress own at least a small share in fossil fuel companies. In addition to holding oil and gas stocks, members of Congress also own oil wells and shares of energy industry funds. Most of these investments have a low sustainability rating. These investments may be owned by a member of Congress, his or her spouse or dependent children, or any combination of these.

Representative Michael McCaul, a Republican from Texas, is one of those who are heavily invested in fossil fuels. He owns between $1.1 million and $19 million in stocks of ExxonMobil and Chevron, and he also has mineral interests in Polk County, Texas. In addition to ExxonMobil stock, he owns stock in companies such as NextEra Energy and Schlumberger.

Oil and gas companies are known to reward legislators who vote against environmental legislation. The study shows that legislators who voted against environmental legislation in 2014 would receive as much as $5,400 in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies during the 2016 election cycle. This is not a new finding, but it confirms the long-term impact of oil and gas industry funding on legislators.

Some senators have even made it a point to invest in oil and gas stocks. Some are more conservative than others, and some are even investing in oil companies. The Energy and Commerce Committee is led by Democrats. Some members hold as much as $80,000 in oil and gas stocks, and many of these lawmakers are members of the committee. Other notable examples include Sen. Ron Johnson of Texas and Sen. Joe Manchin of Pennsylvania.

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