Political action committees organized by Houston’s 10 largest energy employers have donated more than $2 million to candidates for federal office since the start of 2019. That’s about 66% more than the comparable figure donated by employees at those companies.
Corporate PACs run by the energy companies with the 10 largest local headcounts contributed $2.48 million to federal campaigns since the start of 2019, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics published on OpenSecrets.org. Individuals who worked at those companies donated about $1.49 million during that period.
That’s not to say local individuals were slow to open their wallets for candidates — Houston is one of the top cities for individual campaign contributions this election cycle.
The corporate PACs and the corresponding employees often expressed different political leanings in their campaign contributions. About 81% of funding from the corporate PACs went to Republican candidates, compared to 31% of the funding from individual donors. The remaining PAC contributions ended up with Democrats, while the employees donated 7% of their total to independents and 62% to Democrats, according to the CRP data.
Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) had the most active PAC of the top 10 employers, donating $858,300 to federal candidates, 78% of which went to Republicans. Exxon is also the top energy employer in the Houston area, at about 13,000 employees, according to Houston Business Journal research.
Wood, the company formed from a $2.7 billion merger between Scotland-based Wood Group and London-based Amec Foster Wheeler in 2017, has the fourth-largest local workforce among energy-related companies. However, data around Wood’s political activities could not be found via CRP or the Federal Election Commission, so it was not used in the overall analysis. That means that Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL), technically the 11th-largest energy employer in the city, was included instead.
By Joshua Mann – Senior Reporter
Courtesy of The Houston Business Journal