Corporate Connections: Oasis Petroleum
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a fossil fuel enthusiast, is a former Republican member of Congress from Montana and former Navy SEAL. He has called for a “prudent” approach to energy policy but resists placing limits on the fossil fuel industry.
- The fossil fuel industry, which has an interest in exploiting resources buried under public lands, was the third-highest contributor to political campaigns supporting Zinke, after retirees and Republican groups. Since 2013, the industry contributed $345,000 toward Zinke’s election.
- Zinke’s largest contrbutor is Taylor Reid, president and chief operating officer of Texas-based Oasis Petroleum. Zinke contributed $11,600 to Zinke’s campaigns and Oasis executives have collectively contributed $41,750. Oasis Petroleum has drilling operations in Montana. About 10 percent of the corporation’s holdings are under public lands.
- Other fossil fuel corporations that do business the the Interior Department have supported Zinke’s campaigns, including political action committees affiliated with Halliburton, ExxonMobil, Conoco Phillips and Koch Industries. Coal industry supporters of Zinke include Arch Coal Inc., Alpha Natural Resources Inc., Cloud Peak Energy Inc., Peabody Energy Corp. and BNSF Railway Co.
- The League of Conservation Voters has given Zinke a lifetime score of 3% on environmental issues.
- In 2012, Zinke launched a super PAC, Special Operations for America, for the purported purpose of raising money from members of the military and veterans to oppose the re-election of President Barack Obama. In 2013, one week after Zinke resigned as chairman of the super PAC, it was supporting his candidacy for Congress. The super PAC spent more than $190,000 supporting Zinke’s 2014 candidacy and paid Zinke’s company, Continental Divide International for “fundraising consulting,” according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Zinke’s ethics disclosures show that he is president of On Point Montana (a private security contractor and a managing member of Double Tap LLC, a microbrewery. He is a “board member and consultant” for Save the World Air, an oil pipeline company.