Mitt Romney has adopted a Big Oil platform for the elections, appointing oil shale billionaire Harold Hamm as an energy adviser and fully embracing the House Republican budget, which preserves tax loopholes for the industry.
Illustrating the candidate’s ties to the oil industry further, Big Oil’s chief spokesman, API President Jack Gerard, has long backed Mitt Romney. Gerard and his family have donated $7,440 to the Romney campaign, and the campaign in turn has publicly thanked Gerard:
On Super Tuesday, Ann Romney publicly thanked him for helping her husband in his bid for the presidency. According to the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets Web site, Gerard has given $2,470 to Romney and his family members have given $4,970 for the 2012 campaign. He has raised much more by hosting fundraisers, including one at the District Chop House in 2010. He was a supporter of Romney in 2008, too, and some former API employees think he hopes to land a job in a Romney administration.
“Romney has a business background that would be helpful to get us back on track,” Gerard says. “They’ve asked us to support them, and we have. They’re good people.” He and his wife “believe the president’s approach to date is not consistent with what the people need or the country needs for sound energy policy.”
API promised to play a heavy hand this election cycle and has dropped $4.3 million in the last three months alone. API launched ads a few weeks ago to protect the industry’s tax breaks, even as Big Oil is making record profits off of higher gas prices. Like his favored candidate, Gerard is one of America’s 1 percent, receiving one of the largest salaries of any trade group executive at over $6.4 million.