U.S. Oil and Gas Production Is Booming. So Are Donations to GOP Allies

"Not Donald Trump. Not Ted Cruz. But a little known Republican from West Texas ranks as the top recipient of fossil fuel money."

"August Pfluger, an Air Force veteran and member of the U.S. House representing a small district in West Texas, isn’t exactly a household name on the national political scene, with little press coverage in the last two months outside a recent Fox News appearance.

But he is the country’s top recipient of campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry — out of all federal candidates, including President Biden, Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — receiving $573,721 during the current 2024 election cycle, according to campaign finance data compiled by Open Secrets. Pfluger is running for reelection, though it’s not a competitive race in the strongly Republican district, which includes part of the Permian basin, the largest oil-producing region in the country.

But Pfluger has been a loyal ally of the industry, leading the congressional opposition to the Biden administration’s pause on liquefied natural gas exports. When Pfluger entered Congress in 2021, his first piece of legislation proposed prohibiting the Biden administration from demanding a moratorium on issuing new oil and gas permits for drilling on federal lands. He declared on the floor of the House: “My primary concern in Congress is to protect our oil and gas industry from the radical Democrats who will soon control the House, Senate, and White House.” Pfluger’s office did not return calls for comment."

Marcus Baram reports for Capital & Main May 1, 2024.

Source: Capital & Main, 05/07/2024