Dingell’s Supporters Backed By Pollution Industry

DingellOn Friday, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) announced his whip team, the members of the Democratic caucus who will attempt to wrangle the votes needed to maintain his chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee when the Democrats make leadership decisions on November 17 and 18. In addition to the 26-member whip team, Dingell has received the support of House Ways and Means Committee chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY). Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), who is challenging Dingell for the post, has not made the names of his whip team public, although Reps. Howard Berman (CA), Jim Cooper (TN), and George Miller (CA) have announced their support for his candidacy.

The oil and coal industries have overwhelmingly supported Dingell’s team, and the members’ voting records reflect that. On average, Dingell and his supporters have received nearly six times as much money from Big Oil as Waxman’s team, and nine times as much money from King Coal. Dingell’s supporters have voted with Big Oil’s agenda 2.7 times as often as Waxman’s people, according to Oil Change International’s vote tracker.

Oil Money Oil Rank Big Oil Vote Coal Money
Dingell $84,504 65.8 40.0 $105,609
Waxman $14,363 33.0 14.8 $11,500
Averages are for each representative and their respective announced supporters. Donations are for 2000-2008. Information from Oil Change International’s Follow the Oil Money and Follow the Coal Money.

Twelve of the 26 members of Dingell’s whip team are Blue Dogs, the self-described conservatives of the caucus. Seven Dingell backers signed the Waxman-Markey-Inslee statement of climate principles last month: Robert Andrews (NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Jesse Jackson Jr. (IL), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), Charlie Rangel (NY), Bobby Rush (IL), and Ellen Tauscher (CA).

UPDATE: Gristmill‘s Kate Sheppard notes that yet another industry representative has weighed in to support Dingell. “Dingell really has a very good understanding of the industry,” David Cole, chair of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, MI, told Bloomberg. Cole said a Waxman chairmanship would be “very unfortunate” and “the fur would really fly.”

Coal and oil industry donations from 2000 to 2008 to Dingell, Waxman, and their supporters:

Dingell Whip Team
Representative Coal Money Oil Money Big Oil Vote
John Dingell (MI) $578672 $199866 55
Robert Andrews (NJ) $15500 $67950 30
John Barrow (GA) $37000 $31500 64
Rick Boucher (VA) $560394 $180967 55
Allen Boyd (FL) $92050 $52700 50
Mike Doyle (PA) $144322 $54675 36
Chet Edwards (TX) $151349 $187578 55
Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) $1000 $5550 17
Charlie Gonzalez (TX) $66849 $96500 55
Bart Gordon (TN) $75550 $64850 36
Gene Green (TX) $149750 $247413 73
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD) $27500 $19850 45
Baron Hill (IN) $46550 $24700 17
Jesse Jackson Jr. (IL) $7650 $17000 18
Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX) $43750 $14525 27
Jim Matheson (UT) $60500 $182747 60
Charlie Melancon (LA) $71500 $230200 64
Gary Peters (MI) new member
Collin Peterson (MN) $14100 $28000 45
Mike Ross (AR) $89303 $121100 45
Bobby Rush (IL) $48000 $35200 30
Mark Schauer (MI) new member
Heath Shuler (NC) $5550 $2750 17
Bart Stupak (MI) $180550 $35150 45
John Tanner (TN) $18500 $101700 45
Ellen Tauscher (CA) $36000 $82750 18
Edolphus Towns (NY) $164450 $32175 27

Waxman Team
Representative Coal Money Oil Money Big Oil Vote
Henry Waxman (CA) $18500 $5000 9
Howard Berman (CA) $20000 $5000 20
Jim Cooper (TN) $4000 $28100 30
George Miller (CA) $3500 $19350 0

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