Big Energy Recipients Battle for House Energy Committee Chair

Chad Outler | November 17, 2010

Nov. 17, 2010 -- An article recently published at Mother Jones online highlights a skirmish within the Republican Party to chair the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. The article, titled "GOP Energy Committee Fight Gets Ugly" explains that Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) is attempting to become chair of the committee even though he is term-limited according to current Senate GOP party rules.

The article mentions several key players involved in the committee fracas. According to the article, written by Kate Sheppard, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is considered likely to become chairman. Sheppard also writes about the possibility that the post will be filled by Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.)

Former committee chairman Bud Shuster* (R-PA,) Don Young (R-Alaska) and Bill Archer* (R-Tex.) sent a letter to the GOP Majority Transition Team in support of Rep. Barton. Amongst all individuals elected to House since the 109th Congress, Barton is the largest recipient of contributions from the Energy and Natural Resources interest group based on figures dating back to the 2001 election cycle.

The following table represents the contributions received by the above congressmen's campaign committees from the category code "Energy/Natural Resources" since the 2001 election cycle.

Joe Barton (R-Tex.)$2,215,149
John Shimkus (R. Ill.)$812,563
Fred Upton (R-Mich.)$696,550
Don Young (R-Alaska)    $609,247

Figures are based on monetary and non-monetary contributions to candidate campaign committees of legislators serving in the 109th, 110th and 111th Congresses for election cycles 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010. Contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.

* Reps. Archer and Shuster resigned in 2001. CRP contribution data is only available beginning with the 2002 election cycle.