In a 51-47 vote, 43 Senate Republicans and four Democrats filibustered to protect $24 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil. Although a majority voted for Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) bill, it fell short of the 60 needed. The only two Republicans to break rank were Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
A Think Progress Green analysis shows how oil and gas companies have funneled cash to the same senators who protected its handouts:
– The 47 senators voting against the bill have received $23,582,500 in career contributions from oil and gas. The 51 senators voting to repeal oil tax breaks have received $5,873,600.
– The senators who voted for Big Oil’s handouts received on average over four times as much career oil cash as those who voted to end them.
– Overall, Senate Republicans have taken $23.2 million in oil and gas contributions. Democrats received $6.66 million.
– Since 2011, Senate Republicans have voted seven times for pro-Big Oil interests and against clean energy three times.
Democrats who joined the Republicans in defeating the bill include Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Jim Webb (D-VA). Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) broke ranks and voted to cut the tax breaks. Two senators, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) didn’t vote.