“In 2001, Chevron acquired Texaco and became the second largest oil company in the United States. The company produces nearly 3 million barrels of oil a day and has operations in 120 countries. In addition to oil, Chevron also owns a chemicals subsidiary and holds a stake in Dynegy, a power company. Chevron lobbies on all energy issues, including the proposal to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. After never before spending $10 million on federal lobbying efforts, Chevron spent nearly $13 million in 2008, followed by lobbying expenditures of $20.8 million in 2009 and $12.9 million in 2010.”
Like every corporate giant we investigate, Chevron’s political campaign contributions end up in the pockets of both Democrats and Republicans. Historically, however, the Red team has been heavily favored over the Blue. This is understandable, given Chevron’s long-standing ties to the Bush family, as exemplified by this 2005 quote from the Washington Post: “Wayne L. Berman, a principal lobbyist for Chevron, is a Bush ‘Ranger [personal fundraiser]’, having raised at least $200,000 for the president’s campaign. His wife, Lea, is the White House social secretary.”
Dubya’s Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice pushed through the Chevron/Bush BigCorp/BigGov revolving door more than once. After serving on Bush senior’s National Security Council from 1989 to 1991, in 1992 Chevron brought her onto their Board of Directors to leverage her taxpayer-subsidized political contacts to land a $10 billion contract in Kazakhstan. She must have done a good job, because the next year Chevron named a 129,000-ton supertanker in her honor, the SS Condoleeza Rice. For obvious reasons, shortly after Rice joined the second Bush administration in 2001 her big boat was quietly renamed the SS Altair Voyager:
According to Influence Explorer, Chevron shelled out $12,053,212 in campaign contributions between 1989 and 2010, and they have spent a staggering $82,144,825 on lobbying since 1997. They gave to both Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and Gray Davis (D-CA), and to both John McCain (R-AZ) and Barack Obama (D-IL), favoring the Republicans in each case:
The 2008 Presidential election in isolation, however, was an exception. In that cycle, Chevron as well as BP and Exxon gave more money to Democratic candidate Obama than they did to Republican candidate McCain:
Perhaps they sensed that “change” was coming, and they wanted to make sure that change was – as it turned out to be – in name only. Or perhaps, they wanted all bases covered because they knew this was coming:
[20-Sep-2011] “Ecuadorans suing Chevron Corp. over pollution in the Amazon rain forest are one step closer to collecting a $9.5 billion judgment against the San Ramon company. A U.S. appeals court on Monday lifted a lower court’s order that had blocked the Ecuadorans from collecting money in the long-running lawsuit. In February, a judge in Ecuador ruled that Chevron should pay to clean up contamination in the oil fields where Texaco, bought by Chevron in 2001, once worked. But the company persuaded a U.S. judge to block enforcement, arguing that the verdict was the result of fraud. Chevron even filed a criminal conspiracy case against the Ecuadorans. Monday’s order by the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York put that case on hold. It also lifted the injunction, issued by U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan, that had prevented the Ecuadorans from collecting the massive judgment against Chevron.”
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