Posts Tagged ‘BP’

Second Quarter Lobbying Numbers Show Busy K St., Subdued Chamber

Monday, July 26th, 2010 by Vbhotla

According to filings (due on July 20) of second quarter lobbying expenditures and earnings, big earners keep on raking in the dough to advocate for their clients. Environmental lobbying (especially as related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill) was up, and Chamber lobbying – astronomical for the past two quarters – has slowed considerably.

The top 10 lobbying earners (those reporting lobbying income) include: Patton Boggs; Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Van Scoyoc Associates; Podesta Group; Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck; Holland & Knight; Cassidy & Associates; K&L Gates; Ogilvy Government Relations; and Dutko Worldwide.

Patton Boggs, topping the list with $10.07-million in reported earnings, is down just slightly quarter over quarter from January-March’s $10.51-million. However, as Roll Call reported, Patton Boggs’ mid-year numbers look very strong over the last half of last year.

Roll Call also found BP referring to the environmental disaster in the gulf as “the Gulf of Mexico incident,” which, to BP’s credit is more specific than they could have been. BP and many other entites reported lobbying the federal government on issues relating to the disaster. Among the many other interested parties (384 results turned up in a search for “oil spill” on 2nd Quarter reports) were: Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC, National Wildlife Federation, the National Tour Association, Shell Oil Corporation, and the City of Gulf Shores, Alabama. Specifically, 34 entities reported lobbying on “H.R. 5629 the Oil Spill Accountability and Environmental Protection Act of 2010.

This quarter, the Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. slowed down their lobbying efforts considerably. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, whose lobbying reports excited such comment last quarter (and the quarter before), reported only $9.48-million this quarter (as opposed to last quarter’s $25.12-million; the last quarter of 2009 was a staggering $71.19-million). The Chamber files using the most inclusive method, the IRC method, which includes expenditures on grassroots lobbying. Chamber lobbyist Bruce Josten pointed out the decline in the Chamber’s lobbying efforts corresponded with the passage of the Health Care bill (the Chamber opposed the measure).

Records are found at the Senate Office of Public Records. The Roll Call article referenced in this story is available here (subscription required).

*Numbers were accurate as of 7/21/2010, according to publicly available records from the Senate Office of Public Records

BP Brings Out the Big Guns in DC

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 by Vbhotla

Power lobbyist Tony Podesta (Podesta Group) and legal advisor Jamie Gorelick (WilmerHale), a top Justice Department official in the Clinton administration, are part of the formidable team of Democrat lobbyists running Operation Damage Control for British Petroleum, the Washington Post reported on Monday. Facing one PR crisis after another since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP was struck by yet another gaffe this weekend after CEO Tony Hayward was photographed watching a yacht race along the British coast, displaying a remarkable tone-deafness to the political atmosphere.

BP has spent nearly $20 million on lobbying from January 2009 through March 2010, ranking as one of Washington’s top corporate lobbying clients.

Other key players who were involved in the incident have also increased their efforts to avert the disaster spilling over to them.  Jeffrey Turner (Patton Boggs) has been hired by engineering giant Halliburton, which was in charge of cementing the well just before the April 20 explosion, to handle legal and congressional inquiries.

Insiders in the teams representing the embattled companies told the  Post that the emphasis of the lobbying push right now is on giving as much information as possible to lawmakers, as opposed to affecting policy changes. According to the sources, the lobbyists’ attitude at this time is ‘deferential,’ in response to lawmakers’ impatience with the oil industry at present.

Source for lobbying information: & Senate Office of Public Records; Washington Post article is here.

Weekly Lobbying News Round-Up

Friday, June 11th, 2010 by Vbhotla

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio)’s resolution on curbing the OCE is drawing some strenuous objections.  Eliza Newlin Carney of National Journal surveys the “shadows” of ethics reform. Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center (both of whom have also been very involved in the DISCLOSE Act fight) express their concerns in The Hill. Also in The Hill, Nancy Pelosi is apparently willing to entertain questions and comments regarding one of her pet projects.

Lobbyists are handy whipping boys for public anger: FinReg & the Oil Spill being two big categories. The Center for Public Integrity analyzes the numbers of lobbyists doing revolving door-style career moves in the Financial Services sector, while lobbyists for BP are not getting any love these days. Neither is BP, for that matter; American Petroleum Institute attempts to bat PR cleanup for their member companies.

Quote(s) of the week:

“There are a lot of folks out here on K Street who used to be former staffers… [Fundraisers are] a good opportunity to meet new staff that maybe you don’t have a relationship with or maybe you haven’t met ” Jaime Harrison, Podesta Group, Roll Call, June 7

“I’d prefer his [Jack Abramoff’s] halfway house was in Russia, but that’s another issue,” Dave Wenhold, president, American League of Lobbyists,  Blog of Legal Times