Inhofe Staffer Asks Oil Lobbyist ‘Partners’ For ‘Better Coordination And Communication’

Republicans are the default choice for oil and gas dollars, having received 88 percent of the industry’s political contributions in 2011. In return, House and Senate Republicans block regulations the industry deems a potential threat.

In an April 23 e-mail acquired by National Journal, a staffer for Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) called on the industry to utilize their partnership to coordinate attacks on the White House:

Senate Republicans, who led a successful fight this spring against Obama’s proposal to repeal billions of dollars in tax subsidies enjoyed by major oil companies, felt betrayed by the industry’s collaboration with the White House on fracking regulations. The e-mail to top oil and gas lobbyists made that unhappiness clear, and it suggested that the industry was being duped.

Moving forward, we—your partners—would kindly ask for better coordination and communication from you to prevent the Obama administration from pulling similar stunts in the future,” wrote Inhofe aide David Banks in the 800-word e-mail to two dozen lobbyists.

Some lobbyists apparently “cringed” at the wording. But coordinated attacks on behalf of Big Oil interests are nothing new, even if lawmakers don’t usually use such frank language. A host of EPA pollution regulations have faced congressional opposition, including Inhofe’s resolution to prevent new limits on mercury pollution in power plants. Inhofe, a well-known climate denier, is also one of the top recipients of oil and gas contributions with well over $1 million for his career.

Earlier this year, the Republican-Big Oil partnership played out in the Senate’s vote on oil subsidies, when 47 Senators — mostly Republican — blocked the vote. Those Senators received over four times the oil and gas money than lawmakers supporting an end to the oil industry’s permanent tax breaks.


Inhofe responded to the leaked e-mail: “Those wouldn’t have been my words,” Inhofe said. “I wasn’t aware that he was sending that.” However, asked whether he would not consider himself to be an industry partner, Inhofe replied, “I didn’t say that. I just said that’s not the word I would have used.”‘

Share Update

9 Responses to Inhofe Staffer Asks Oil Lobbyist ‘Partners’ For ‘Better Coordination And Communication’

  1. Leif says:

    I went to the “cringed” link and found this quote from an oil lobbyist.”That ignores the reality that major corporations, which are responsible to their investors, must sometimes work with the president when it suits their business interests,…” That is the major flaw in the capitalistic system of Western Society. Not a thought about the interests of Earth’s life support systems that make life livable. As long as individual Corpro/People can profit, hugely, from polluting the commons and money now votes, humanity will reap the smelly end of the stick. Corporations are “People” now. I, an original people, am not allowed to profit from polluting the commons. (Throw a paper cup out the car window in front of a cop and see for yourself.) How come Corpro/people get to pick between the corporation laws that suit them and people laws that don’t? It is past time that corporations learn to play nice with their elders. Stop profits from polluting the commons. Get that done and there will be lots to do. Think Jobs!

    On top of that I would think that the “business interests” of the corporation’s investors would clearly include the continued function of Earth’s Life Support Systems and not just the most bang for the buck.

  2. David Davidson says:

    I just wish all corporate shills were as honest as this throwback.

  3. Mike says:

    There is an article in Daedalus on taking advantage of the potential split between the coal and oil industry on one side and the natural gas industry. The article is

    Is Shale Gas Good for Climate Change?
    Daniel P. Schrag
    Daedalus Spring 2012, Vol. 141, No. 2: 72

  4. Kend says:

    I just wish all corporate shills were as honest as this throwback..

  5. M Tucker says:

    Inhofe (and all congressional Republicans) wants President Obama to fail. If the Obama administration and the oil and gas industry collaborate on fracking regulations that could represent a success for President Obama. Inhofe cannot tolerate that! Even if it hurts the oil and gas industry’s bottom line. Inhofe is focused on failure. Failure for everyone! No jobs for Americans of any kind. No clean jobs and no dirty jobs…NO JOBS!

    Too bad he has no leverage with that industry in the same way he does in congress. In fact he is a bought and paid for lackey of the oil and gas industry and they can ignore him whenever the need arises.

  6. Matt says:

    Shorter Inhofe: “As everyone knows, I would have used the phrase ‘your servant’ to properly indicate the level of boot-licking subservience I give my corporate masters.”

  7. Ozonator says:

    Evil Inhofe would have opened the eco-buggering with a joke like – “what is the hardest thing to eat on a vegetable? Some say the wheelchair and others say the respirator…”. Because, God commands them to pollute with AGW cancers, spontaneous abortions, brain damage, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other catastrophes to help the poor. For example, with condolences to all Indians, “May 15, 2012 … Using Earth’s blessings to better mankind and planet … Rational thought … David R. Legates … As a coauthor of the Cornwall Alliance’s Renewed … Global Warming … I know the Cornwall Alliance fully and carefully integrates scientific, economic, ethical and theological reasoning to support its conclusions. … poor people of India … cannot possibly concern themselves with environmental stewardship … “noble natives,” supposedly “at one” with their environment … If we do not use the resources God has set before us in the earth to care for those in need, our Creator will likely condemn us … David R. Legates … is a Christian and a senior fellow of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation” (whistlesuckers perfuming the stink at

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    When did a capitalist corporation ever hesitate for an instant when people’s lives were threatened by profit maximisation? Did knowing that its product kills half those who use it ever stop Big Tobacco? Did the dangers of asbestos, known to be deadly since Roman times, stop the asbestos industry? Did the deaths of thousands of infants in the poor world stop the infant formula peddlers pushing their deadly products? And has knowing that the planet’s climate stability will be destroyed (and the Big Bosses know it to be true-hardcore True Believer denialism is for the dullard Dunning-Krugerites only)ever stopped the fossil fuel genocidaires from pumping their poison? Capitalism has a fool-proof mechanism to ensure the worst possible outcomes. No matter how many capitalists draw back from some new obscenity, if there is a buck in it, some suitably unscrupulous and morally insane ‘entrepreneur’ will always answer the call of his ‘animal spirits’ and step forward to commit any abomination.

  9. Ozonator says:

    To be fair and balanced, I, a “noble native” of Louisiana, am proof of extremist Republicans and Christians doing God’s will to provide cheap energy for the poor and disabled. One of their local gang-probing units called the weed police on my edible garden collecting heritage seeds. Lacking options under SSD, I recalled additional forms of solar power like a clothes line. Thus, I have a free dryer. The clothes don’t stink of ExxonMobil and other extremist investments unless I leave them out overnight. And, except for having to wear a respirator at Walmart, my clothes are now a visible sign of my poor “concern … with environmental stewardship”.