Gulf Coast Recovery: Letter to Congress

On the 3rd month anniversary of the BP Oil Spill disaster, dozens of national and international organizations take to the halls of Congress to push representatives on tougher rules and regulations for energy companies to ensure nothing like the BP Oil Spill ever happens again.

Representatives from the below listed organizations will be visiting legislators and hand-delivering this letter to their Members of Congress.

July 20, 2010

Dear Member of Congress,

On behalf of our members, activists, and supporters, we urge you to give up all campaign contributions you've received from the oil and gas industry during the 2008 and 2010 election cycles and donate them to Gulf Coast recovery efforts. We also ask that you refuse any oil industry campaign contributions in the future. Instead of using this dirty money to finance your campaigns, we urge you to counter the corporate polluter influence that has permeated our government and stand in solidarity with those in our country who've unfairly borne the consequences of our myopic energy policy.

As you read this letter, millions of gallons of crude oil have hemorrhaged into the Gulf of Mexico. More than a half gallon of oil has gushed into the Gulf for every man, woman, and child in the United States. Valuable marine ecosystems are being destroyed along with the local economies that depend on them. And although BP has the worst safety and environmental record of any oil company operating in the U.S., the oil titan made $14 billion in profits in 2009 alone.

However, these profits don't exist in a vacuum. During the 2008 and 2010 election cycles, the oil and gas industry pumped an astonishing $48,401,891 into campaigns, $643,715 of which came from BP. Increasing corporate control of our government—particularly fossil fuel industry influence—has endangered our environment and the people who depend on it. Corporate polluter influence in Washington undoubtedly created the conditions that led to the devastating oil spill in the Gulf.

This influence has allowed corporate polluters to perpetuate the dirty energy status quo. Instead of passing a comprehensive climate and energy bill that would reduce our dependence on oil and prevent future oil disasters, the Senate is considering proposals that hand billions in giveaways to corporate polluters, including the oil, coal, nuclear and agribusiness industries. At the same time, changes to our transportation system that could reduce our use of oil have been blocked by polluting industries, as have investments in clean energy.

It's past time to end the stranglehold polluting special interests have on our democracy and our climate. We have the tools to make a swift and just transition to the clean energy of the future, and now more than ever, the lives and livelihoods of our nation's citizens depend on it. We urge you to transfer all campaign contributions you've received from the oil and gas industry to organizations like Gulf Coast Fund that directly empower communities to lead in recovery efforts and to refuse any further oil industry contributions.


8th Day Center for Justice

Corporate Ethics International

Center for Biological Diversity

Chesapeake Climate Action Network

CREDO Action


Dominican Sisters of Hope

Energy Action Coalition

Friends of the Earth

Global Exchange


Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, JPIC

Kentucky Heartwood

Oil Change International

Pax Christi USA

Pax Christi Metro New York

Public Citizen

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Sustainable Energy & Economy Network, Institute for Policy Studies

Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, U.S. Province