Last week, we brought you news of how Exxon and its corporate successor, Exxon-Mobil, have been paying out tens of millions of dollars over the past 35 years in order to mislead the public and hide the facts about how their fossil fuel products are impacting the planet and its climate. It should therefore come as no surprise that the giant petroleum company has also been making significant “contributions” to lawmakers in Congress.

It’s time to start naming names.

Not surprisingly, most of members of Congress receiving the “contributions” are members of the GOP. However, the top recipient is a Democratic Senator from Louisiana – the Honorable Ms. Mary L. Landrieu.  For her generous assistance in helping to keep the public in the dark and Exxon-Mobil profitable, Senator Landrieu received a whopping $48,700 last year. The runner-up was GOP Senator John Corwyn of Texas, who was given $40,600.

Again, this is no surprise. Both Louisiana and Texas are significant oil producers, and much of their respective economies depend on oil industry jobs. However, these two are just at the top of a very long list. Exxon-Mobil has been handing out “campaign contributions” to members of CON-gress right and left (mostly right). The next eighteen legislators on the “Top Twenty” list got an average of $14,000 apiece. This, by the way, doesn’t take into account gifts made to various (Republican) committees, PACs and other groups. Altogether Exxon-Mobil’s investment in deception and obstruction and rollbacks of environmental protections in 2014 totaled over $2 million.

Nor does it include $12.65 million spent on lobbying efforts. reports that out of 50 lobbyists now working for Exxon-Mobil, 33 – fully two-thirds – have recently held positions in the federal government, primarily as staffers for members of Congress. One lobbyist is even a former United States Senator: Don Nickles of Oklahoma, who represented the Sooner State from 1981 to 2005.

There are over sixty current members of Congress who have received Exxon-Mobil’s “contributions” and/or are shareholders in the company. This rogue gallery, according to, includes the following miscreants:

Boehner, John (R-OH)

Byrne, Bradley (R-AL)

Camp, Dave (R-MI)

Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV)

Carper, Tom (D-DE)

Carter, John (R-TX)

Cassidy, Bill (R-LA)

Coburn, Tom (R-OK)

Cochran, Thad (R-MS)

Cohen, Steve (D-TN)

Cole, Tom (R-OK)

Collins, Susan M (R-ME)

Corwyn, John (R-TX)

Costa, Jim (D-CA)

Cruz, Ted (R-TX)

Dingell, John D (D-MI)

Doggett, Lloyd (D-TX)

Elmers, Renee (R-NC)

Frankel, Lois J (D-FL)

Frelinghuysen, Rodney (R-NJ)

Gardner, Cory (R-CO)

Gibbs, Bob (R-OH)

Gillespie, Ed (R-VA)

Graham, Lindsey (R-SC)

Hagan, Kay R (D-NC)

Hanna, Richard (R-NY)

Hensarling, Jeb (R-TX)

Issa, Darrell (R-CA)

Johnson, Bill (R-OH)

Kaine, Tim (D-VA)

Kelly, Mike (R-PA)

Kennedy, Joe III (D-MA)

King, Angus (I-ME)

Landrieu, Mary L. (D-LA)

Marchant, Kenny (R-TX)

McCarthy, Carolyn (D-NY)

McCaul, Michael (R-TX)

Moran, Jerry (R-KS)

Olsen, Pete (R-TX)

O’Rourke, Beto (D-TX)

Perdue, David (R-GA)

Price, David (D-NC)

Pryor, Mark (D-AR)

Reed, Tom (R-NY)

Renacci, Jim (R-OH)

Roberts, Pat (R-KS)

Roe, Phil (R-TN)

Rogers, Hal (R-KY)

Rothfus, Keith J (R-PA)

Schneider, Brad (D-IL)

Schrader, Kurt (D-OR)

Sensenbrenner, F James Jr (R-WI)

Sessions, Pete (R-TX)

Stivers, Steve (R-OH)

Tillis, Thom (R-NC)

Tipton, Scott (R-CO)

Upton, Fred (R-MI)

Vitter, David (R-LA)

Wagner, Ann L. (R-MO)

Whitfield, Ed (R-KY)

Chances are better than average that one of these corporate whores represents your district or state. If that is the case, you need to call (202) 224-3121, ask for your member of CON-gress by name, and start raising hell. Inform them that if they don’t start standing up for the environment, they can start looking for another job come January 2017.

K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.