Why Is The Oil Industry Giving Millions To The NRA? | ThinkProgress

by Rachel Baker on April 29, 2014

If you are ever curious about why people in our legislative branch votes the way they do, all you have to do is follow the money.

Last week, a $1 million donation by a large Texas oil company to the NRA became an issue in New York City, where the city comptroller asked Clayton Williams Energy Inc. to explain the purpose of the contribution. Comptroller Scott Stringer, who oversees the city’s $150 billion pension fund that has $3.2 million worth of Williams stock, asked the company to provide a full disclosure to shareholders of its political contributions.

Since 2008, the oil and gas industry has sought aggressively — and successfully — to exert greater influence over the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Safari Club International (SCI), according to a new report by the Center for American Progress published Tuesday. At the same time, the industry has poured funding into the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, bolstering access by energy companies, and the two big sportsmen’s groups, to members of Congress and the public lands policy debates there.

The report, “Oil and Gas Industry Investments in the National Rifle Association and Safari Club International: Reshaping American Energy, Land and Wildlife Policy,” is a revealing portrait of how a powerful lobby can undermine two bedrock principles that have united American sportsmen for more than a century: public access to wildlife and the protection of wildlife habitat. The report was written by Matt Lee-Ashley, director of the public lands program at the Center for American Progress.

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