BP Lobbying Team's Revolving Door

In the two years leading up to the catastrophic spill in the Gulf, BP hired twelve lobbying firms and paid them $32 million to press their agenda in Congress, at the White House and in the halls of at least fourteen federal agencies, according to lobbying records.

It was familiar territory for the lobbyists. A CBS News analysis of lobbying records reveals that 29 out of 43 BP hired guns were former Congressional or Administration staffers.

For Obama's first three months in office, BP hired the Duberstein Group led by President Reagan's former chief of staff Ken Duberstein to exclusively lobby the White House on "Energy security proposals". Duberstein brought along heavy hitters such as former Carter Administration veteran Mike Berman and Eric Ueland who served as the former chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN).

BP also hired the Podesta Group, led by uber-lobbyist Tony Podesta, to lobby Congress. Podesta is a top Washington insider whose brother is former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta. The firm also counts David Marin among its lobbyists - he once served as a top GOP investigator for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Former staffers from the Louisiana Congressional delegation are also well-represented on BP's lobbying team. There are three former employees from Senator Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) office, one from former Senator John Breaux's (D-LA) office and another from Rep. Jim McCrery's (R-LA) office. Former Congressman Jim Turner (D-TX) also serves as a lobbyist for BP.

Senate records also reveal that several prominent veterans of the Bush Administration went on to work for BP such as Daniel Meyer, a former assistant to President Bush for legal affairs, and Michael LaRocco, who served at the Interior Department as an aide to the top official at the agency.

One lobbying report submitted in July 2008 showed BP lobbying the House, Senate and two federal agencies on the "Impacts of proposals to expand the Marine [sic] Sanctuariries in the Gulf of Mexxico on present and future oil and gas interests."

  • Laura Strickler

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