A recent report by OpenSecrets shows that several high-profile lawmakers (including GOP Reps. Vern Buchanan and Connie Mack of Florida) dumped their stock in BP and Transocean following last year’s massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Both Republicans and Democrats gave up significant portions of their holdings in the companies, according to the analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Buchanan’s holdings went from between $31,003 and $115,000 in BP stocks in 2009, to zero in 2010. Buchanan, an offshore drilling opponent, has lashed out at BP for giving pay bonuses to execs. Arguing that the company was “rewarding incompetence,” Buchanan said that the company should be focused on “ensuring that another disaster never happens again.” Buchanan was the lead sponsor of the “Oil Spill Prevention Act,” which aimed to reform oversight of oil drilling.
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, was at the top of the list of lawmakers with BP assets. Kerry had somewhere between $351,003 to $765,000 in 2009, and only $1,001-$15,000 in 2010.
Another group of lawmakers divested themselves of stocks in Transocean, the company that owned the Deepwater Horizon oil platform. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, is among those whose Transocean assets disappeared sometime between 2009 and 2010. In a 2008 press release, Mack said that “real steps” needed to be taken in order to “bolster energy independence.” Following the spill, Mack said that BP “should be held responsible for every dime” of the damages.