- Democrats who have key roles shaping energy policy also invest in energy companies.
- They reported holding or trading shares of Exxon Mobil, Dominion Energy, and Chevron, among others.
- The lawmakers often get accolades for their voting records on green issues.
Nearly two dozen Democratic lawmakers with gold-star ratings from a major environmental advocacy group have personal financial ties to fossil-fuel giants and petroleum-focused energy companies, federal financial-disclosure documents show.
Insider identified 22 House and Senate Democrats — all but one of whom scored at least 92% on the League of Conservation Voters’ 2020 environmental rankings — who over the past year reported holding or trading stocks in companies heavily involved with petroleum, coal, and natural gas.
The tally is part of the exhaustive Conflicted Congress project, in which Insider reviewed nearly 9,000 financial-disclosure reports for every sitting lawmaker and their top-ranking staffers.
Several of these lawmakers wield power over the energy sector via their committees, including the House Appropriations Committee’s energy- or environment-related subcommittees (three members), the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (two), the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (one), and the House Natural Resources Committee (one).
A plurality (nine) of the Democrats invested in Exxon Mobil. Eight invested in Dominion Energy, while six invested in each of Duke Energy and Chevron.
Other energy-sector leaders that members of Congress invested in during 2020 include BP, ConocoPhillips, Consolidated Edison, Exelon, Shell, and Valero Energy.
Electric companies and Big Oil
Sen. John Hickenlooper, who serves on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, reported owning up to $500,000 worth of Duke Energy stock during 2020. He sold up to $250,000 worth of Chevron stock in late October 2021, and he reported up to $1 million in
from Exxon Mobil stock he no longer owns. Hickenlooper is the only lawmaker in this bunch without an LCV ranking, as the 2020 scorecard predates his arrival in Congress.
Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, who had an LCV rating of 92% in 2020 and serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, reported owning up to $80,000 worth of energy-related stocks: up to $50,000 worth of Duke Energy stock he held on his own, up to $15,000 worth of Shell stock, and up to $15,000 worth of Chevron attributed to his wife.
A Carper aide told Insider that a financial advisor handled the family’s investments.
“Over a lifetime of public service, Senator Carper is — and always has been — driven solely by a motivation to serve the people of Delaware and their interests,” Carper’s spokeswoman, Rachel Levitan, wrote in an email.
Levitan added that Carper had consistently worked to restrict offshore drilling, abolish government subsidies for fossil-fuel companies, and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. </…….