On the same day that the Interior Department levied a $5.2 million fine against BP America for misreporting output on a Colorado Native American reservation, the Washington Post reports that the energy giant has spent millions to influence voters in the Centennial State and elsewhere despite a pledge to "make no political contributions, whether in cash or in kind, anywhere in the world." .
From the Washington Post:
But BP North America -- the energy giant's U.S. subsidiary -- has donated at least $4.8 million in corporate contributions over the past seven years to political groups, partisan organizations and campaigns for federal and state elections, an analysis of campaign and tax records shows.
Its most generous corporate contributions -- totaling about $4 million -- have gone to two Republican-aligned political action groups working to defeat state ballot initiatives in California and Colorado that could have raised oil and gas industry taxes, according to an analysis of state campaign reports by the Center for Political Accountability. On the national scene, BP spent about $112,000 in corporate money to boost the coffers of Democratic and Republican organizations seeking to elect candidates to higher office, primarily the Democratic Governors Association and the Republican State Leadership Committee.
Scott Dean, BP spokesman, defended the donations to the Post:
"The California and Colorado ballot initiatives referred to are to support information campaigns concerning legislation or tax initiatives targeting our industry. This money did not go to a political party or candidate, so it is consistent with our guidelines,"
According to Colorado Secretary of State records, BP North America made two $500,000 donations to a group called Coloradans for a Stable Economy, an issue committee with the stated purpose of opposing Amendment 58 on the 2008 Colorado ballot.
Amendment 58, which failed, would have ended a tax credit for oil and gas drillers in the state.