Meet U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas.
Barton previously served as the chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has authority over bills seeking to regulate fracking. He also sponsored the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act.
And a report published by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington indicates that he received $509,447 during the 2004 and 2012 election cycles, which was more than $100,000 more than any other candidate in the country.
“The fracking boom is yielding gushers of campaign contributions for congressional candidates from districts containing hydraulically fractured wells,” the report states.
Among the key findings in the report:
Contributions from companies operating hydraulically fractured wells and trade associations supporting the fracking industry to House and Senate candidates from districts and states home to fracking activity rose by 231 percent between the 2004 and 2012 election cycles, from about $2.1 million to $6.9 million.
The increase is almost twice as much as the increase in contributions from the fracking industry to congressional candidates from nonfracking districts, which rose by 131 percent, from approximately $2.2 million to $5.1 million, during the same period.
Contributions from the fracking industry to all congressional candidates increased by 180 percent, from approximately $4.3 million to nearly $12 million, between the 2004 and 2012 election cycles, according to CREW’s analysis. The increase outpacedcontributions from the entire oil and gas industry to all congressional candidates, which increased by 104 percent, from approximately $17.5 million to $35.6 million, during the same period.