Not only are there "oil men in the White House", there are bunch of oil "persons" on the LEFT side of the aisle in the halls of Congress.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) owns $15,000-$50,000 of stock in Chevron, $50,000-$100,000 in Exxon Mobil, and $15,000-$50,000 in Schlumberger, a highly profitable oil-services company that provides technical expertise and equipment.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the 2004 Democratic nominee, has blasted his colleague John McCain (R-Ariz.), the expected Republican presidential candidate, in recent days for pursuing policies that he says benefit the oil industry. When Kerry ran for president four years ago, he criticized President Bush's "energy policy of Big Oil, by Big Oil, and for Big Oil." Kerry has tens of thousands of dollars invested in those same companies, but an aide to the senator said the investment is held in trust and Kerry has no control over it. Kerry's financial disclosure reports show two investments in Exxon Mobil worth between $65,000 and $150,000 combined. He also showed a stake in BP worth between $15,000 and $50,000.
In the House, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) has criticized the industry for not investing more in production capacity and
questioned whether companies have manipulated prices. Maloney owns assets in BP and Exxon Mobil of $50,000-$100,000 and $100,000-$250,000, respectively. BP earned about $17 billion in profit last year, giving Maloney dividends worth between $1,000 and $2,500, according to her financial disclosure report. Exxon earned $40 billion in profits, earning Maloney between $1,000 and $2,500 in dividends.
Although some Democrats accuse oil companies of "gouging" consumers, who now have to pay over $4 for a gallon of gas, Cohen said he does not want to make money off the backs of other Americans. "I didn't buy them to gouge people, I bought them because they had a dividend or made some money." Cohen made between $1,200 and $3,900 in oil company dividends in 2007, according to his financial report.
Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), who has criticized "needless tax breaks for giant oil companies" and accused oil companies of
deliberately decreasing capacity to boost profits, has one of the biggest oil investments. He owns assets in Richey Oil
Company of Houston worth between $250,000 and $500,000, according to his financial disclosure report. He earned
royalties worth $50,000-$100,000 from that investment in 2007. His office did not respond to requests for comment.
Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio) owns stock worth $1,000-$15,000 in Exxon Mobil and $15,000-$50,000 in Chevron. Last
week he criticized industries for "raking in record profits" while "sitting on 68 million acres of oil-rich federal land that they
are not drilling." Wilson told The Hill that he doesn't let his investments interfere with decisionmaking. "Bringing down gas prices will help families, businesses and our entire economy," Wilson said in a statement. "It's my top priority right now. Obviously, bringing down gas prices will hurt Big Oil's bottom line, and you could argue that works against my own financial self-interest as a shareholder. But my duties as a member of Congress come first, and I think it's important to speak out and encourage the oil companies to do the right thing."
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) has spoken out on "unjustifiable tax breaks for Big Oil" and the "astronomical earnings report of Exxon Mobil." He owns Exxon Mobil stock worth between $100,000 and $250,000 and Chevron stock worth between $50,000 and $100,000. He purchased additional stock in those companies last year. Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) and his wife own shares of Chevron worth between $15,000 and $50,000 and Exxon Mobil worth between $250,000 and $500,000.
Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) has $15,000 to $50,000 worth of Exxon Mobil holdings and $1,000 to $15,000 invested in Conoco Phillips. Sestak, who has told constituents he wants to eliminate $16.1 billion worth of tax benefits for oil and gas companies, said his financial holdings are "totally irrelevant" to his stance on energy issues. He said he inherited the Exxon stock from his father and would likely pass it along to his daughter.
Democratic Reps. Patrick Kennedy (R.I.), Carolyn McCarthy (N.Y.), Heath Shuler (N.C.), and Howard Berman (Calif.) also have investments in oil companies. They have each taken public stands against policies favored by the oil industry. Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), whose wife owns $50,000 to $100,000 worth of Exxon stock, has touted his efforts to fight oil companies' manipulation of gas prices. Oberstar's spokesman, John Schadl, said his boss does not tell his wife how to invest her money.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren's (D-Calif.) spouse has retirement investments ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 each in BP and Chevron.
Lofgren, who does not accept political contributions from the oil industry, said she asked her husband to request that his money managers steer clear of oil and tobacco companies.
Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.), an outspoken opponent of drilling off Florida's coast, has an investment worth between $1,000 and $15,000 in Hornbeck Offshore Services. The company provides assistance on deepwater drilling projects, according to its website. "This particular minor investment is one of several managed by outside financial advisers, and as is the case with all of his investments, has absolutely no bearing on Congressman Klein's decisionmaking process or policy positions," said Klein's spokeswoman.
Reps. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas) and Charlie Melancon (D-La.) each own investments worth between $15,000 and $50,000 in Exxon Mobil. They have not criticized the industry as their colleagues have. This, by far, is not the exhaustive list.
Nancy Pelosi admitted today to Tom Brokaw on "Meet the Press" to investing a "piddling" $50,000-$100,000 in Boone Pickens' natural gas energy plan.