Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

New App Tracks Energy and Environmental Lobbying

A new interactive infographic by The Texas Tribune allows users to track campaign contributions from some of the most powerful groups and names in the energy and environmental sectors.

The energy and environmental lobbying tracker shows the dollar amounts in contributions each elected official has received since January 2011. With a drop-down menu, contributions from individual organizations or donors can be viewed as well.

Attorney General Greg Abbott far and away garnered the largest amount of contributions from the selected group of donors. Billionaire and nuclear waste disposal site owner Harold Simmons donated $575,000 of Abbott’s $628,000 in donations. Simmons donated over a million dollars to elected officials. In fact, the $1,003,000 donated by Simmons was more than any of the other groups or individuals gave to elected officials.  In 2011, a PAC owned by Simmons illegally donated $65,000 to 18 state lawmakers. The Texas Ethics Commission fined the group earlier this year for those illegal donations.

Both environmental donors listed solely funded Democrats. Every energy interest, with the exception of billionaire businessman T. Boone Pickens, donated to campaigns from both parties. Pickens donated to two Republican officials: Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick.


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