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Congress has a BP problem -- hard to investigate a firm that has lavished millions on DC lawmakers

May 4, 2010 |  9:22 am

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research staff works to hydrate a Northern Gannet bird cover in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon platform disaster off the Gulf Coast by Getty Images
Even before that devastating oil slick washes up on the Gulf Coast, Congress is demanding answers and plans to grill BP officials in weeks to come about the oil rig explosion that killed 11 crew members and threatens the fragile ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico.

Good luck with that.

Turns out the company spent almost $16 million lobbying Congress in 2009 and over $3.5 million so far this year, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). As CNN reported, BP employees also gave over $3 million in campaign contributions during the last decade, and almost $110,000 in 2010.

Not to worry, the money is split -- 57% to Republicans, 43% to Democrats.

Still, when BP America President Lamar McKay goes before the House Energy and Commerce Committee next week, he can watch his money in action -- committee members received the largest share of BP's campaign contributions over the last two election cycles.

The top recipient of BP-related donations during the 2008 cycle? President Obama, who collected $71,000.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research staff works to hydrate a northern gannet covered in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon platform explosion off the Gulf Coast. Credit: Getty Images

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