It is well known that Rep. Tom Reed promotes Natural Gas and hydrofracking. He is the co-chair of the Congressional Natural Gas Caucus and has publicly declared that gas drilling is safe. Reed supports hydrofracking and exporting American-produced natural gas. (That way we take the risks, and the Gas/Oil Industries reap the profits).
He also get well compensated for his efforts.
On May 4, 2011, four months into his first term in congress, Rep. Reed “spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representative in support of the responsible and transparent development of America’s abundant natural gas supplies.” He was praised by the American Gas Association (AGA) for “leading the House’s Marcellus Shale Coalition and continuing to help lead America toward a clean energy future.”
In August, 2011 (right after his famous trip the Holy Land) Reed held a Town Hall Meeting in Burdett (Schulyer County). The Corning Leader reported, “A contentious gas-drilling debate highlighted U.S. Rep. Tom Reed’s town hall meeting in Burdett, where nearly everyone in attendance was anti-drilling. Reed made no bones about his view on the subject – he’s in favor of fracking the Marcellus Shale if it can be done cleanly and responsibly, which he believes it can. ‘I am a supporter of the industry, natural gas,’ Reed said.”
His constituents explained their concerns: “The gas companies win, the people who have a bunch of gas under their land win, the rest of us lose,” one man exclaimed. One woman pointed out: “They (the gas companies) are not from here. We’re from here.” There were questions about federal oversight, taxing the gas companies, and the affects on tourism. All wise topics to bring up to someone who is suppose to be representing them. Reed likes to say that his purpose of Town Hall Meetings is to hear from his constituents. At Burdett, he told his constituents what he thought. He listened to them, but he didn’t hear their concerns.
Although his constituents at the August 27 Town Hall Meeting left the meeting upset and not impressed with their new representative, Gas/Oil PACs were paying close attention. They must have been very impressed with Reed and his willingness to disregard his constituents and support the PACs lucrative high-impact industrial projects. It should be noted:
- A week and a half after the Burdett meeting, the Natural Fuel Gas Political Action Committee sent Rep. Reed $2000.
- Two week s after the meeting America’s Natural Gas Association Political Action Committee sent Rep. Reed $1000.
- October 1st, America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) Political Action sent Rep. Reed $2,400.
- November 15, the Interstate Natural Gas Association PAC sent Rep. Reed $1000.
- That’s $6,400 in a matter of weeks.
The idea of promoting Natural Gas and Fracking didn’t come out of the blue. Reed received the following donations in the 2009-2010 campaign season. (Remember, his first election was November, 2010).
- Chesapeake Energy ($5,000)
- Exxon/Mobil ($5,000)
- Independent Petroleum Association of America ($5,000)
- Koch Industry ($5,000)
- Marathon Oil ($1,000)
- Natural Fuel Gas Corp ($2,000),
- Otis Eastern ($17,848)
- Pioneer Natural Resources (USA) ($750)
Rep. Reed received $110,521 from the Gas/Oil Industry in 2011-2012. $80,400 from PACS, $21,450 from individuals employed in the Gas/Oil Industries. For this campaign, as of March 10, 2014, he has received $72,950, $51,500 from Gas/Oil PACs, $21,450 from Individuals employed in the Gas/Oil Industry. Those figures will change throughout the campaign. The data will be updated as it becomes available.
The following link: Gas & Oil Corp. Contributions, names 30 different the Gas/Oil PACs that contributed to Rep. Campaigns (2012 and 2014) and how much each donated. The information was on the Open Secrets website.
I am not naive. Every congress-person gets contributions from special interest groups. The Gas/Oil Industry needed to be researched because it is so controversial. Not only many of the companies that donate to Rep. Reed pay little (or no) federal tax. Rep. Reed is promoting exporting gas/oil–because it is more profitable. Foreign countries get energy, the PACs get the profits, and we take the risks of spills, explosions , and earthquakes. Reed tries to comfort us by saying that “fracking is safe”. His district directer reminds us that Reed has a law degree; he is not a scientist.
Gas/Oil PACs aren’t Reed’s highest source of PAC donations. In 2012 it was fourth, behind Real Estate PACs, Securities & Investment PACs, and Insurance PACs. That year he received $1,129,847 from 835 different PACs.
By the way, Reed’s salary, paid by taxpayers, is $174,000 a year. He doesn’t need our money; he needs our votes.
Rep. Tom Reed needs to be held accountable. Does he really represents us?