Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets in NYS": Pro-fracking interests spent $64.3 million from 2007 to 2013

New report reveals 199 pro-fracking interests outspent anti-fracking groups by nearly 9 to 1

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NEW YORK, NY (01/13/2014)(readMedia)-- Today, Common Cause/NY released "Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets in New York State," a new comprehensive analysis of lobbying and campaign contributions by pro-fracking interests as well as anti-fracking environmental and civic groups, covering the period from 2007 to July 2013. While New Yorkers await a decision from Governor Cuomo, the controversy and political spending around the issue continues to grow.

Since 2007, pro-fracking interests have spent $15.4 million on campaign contributions and nearly $48.9 million on lobbying, for a combined total of $64.3 million. In contrast, anti-fracking groups spent $1.9 million on campaign contributions and $5.4 million on lobbying in the same period. Pro-fracking interests have directed their efforts primarily through lobbying, although political contributions are still a favorite for party committees. In 2012, spending on lobbying by direct fracking interests reached a new high of $4.6 million as key players like Exxon Mobil, the American Petroleum Institute, America's Natural Gas Alliance, and Halliburton significantly increased their engagement.

"Hydraulic fracturing has been one of the most polarizing issues in recent history, with no shortage of political money invested by pro-fracking interests to achieve a favorable outcome. The persistent and accelerated spending is cause for concern as lawmakers weigh this key decision. Yet despite being outspent by nearly 9 to 1, organized people have managed to overcome the advantage of organized money to make their voices heard. Nevertheless New York State needs comprehensive campaign finance and lobbying reform to assure New Yorkers that public policy is based on their interest, not the special interests," said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY.


The Common Cause/NY analysis divides pro-fracking interests into four categories – direct fracking interests, oil and gas support industries, pro-fracking business organizations, and pro-fracking unions. Common Cause/NY identified a total of 541 fracking-related businesses, trade organizations, and unions and found that 199 have lobbied and/or made campaign contributions in New York State. For entities outside of the "direct fracking interest" category, Common Cause/NY recognizes that contributions and lobbying may often be related to issues other than fracking. New York's lobbying disclosures do not require that companies break down lobbying expenses by issue area. However, this data taken as a whole provide an accurate measure of the power and influence of pro-fracking business interests in state and local government.

Common Cause/NY identified these interests by examining the lobbying records for fracking bills, and researching industry coalitions. Additional interests were identified from a detailed analysis of corporate campaign contributors in the Southern Tier. Each pro-fracking entity is fully documented with one or more source, substantiating the entity's involvement in the fracking industry and/or advocacy for legalization of fracking in New York. In order to show the political activity on both sides of the issue, we researched anti-fracking organizations and coalitions in the same way.


  • Pro-fracking interests spent nearly 75% of their political cash in the State Legislature ($6.1M to candidates and committees) and at the county level ($5M). As is the case with other special interests, pro-frackers target their contributions to the ruling parties in power: Senate Republicans ($3.1M) vs. Senate Democrats ($795,000), and State Assembly Democratic ($1.3M) vs. Assembly Republicans ($643,000). The IDC received $194,000.
  • Among statewide officials, Governor Cuomo received the most ($994,150), followed by Attorney General Schneiderman ($142,100), and Comptroller DiNapoli ($84,550).
  • The top 20 legislators currently in office receiving pro-fracking money include:
    1. Tom Libous ($368,305), 2. George Maziarz ($193,831), 3. Michael Ranzenhofer ($130,574), 4. Dean Skelos ($108,700), 5. David Valesky ($84,225), 6. Cathy Young ($77,545), 7. Michael Nozzolio ($73,251), 8. Joe Morelle ($66,575), 9. Jeff Klein ($65,995), 10. Joseph Robach ($63,708), 11. Sheldon Silver ($61,264), 12. Mark Grisanti ($61,048), 13. Brian Kolb ($58, 719), 14. Tom O'Mara ($56,375), 15. Robin Schimminger ($54,708), 16. Betty Little ($53,130), 17. Pat Gallivan ($48,270), 18. John DeFrancisco ($47,825), 19. Malcolm Smith ($47,050), 20. Charles Fuschillo ($46,664).
    • Of the top twenty recipients of pro-fracking money, eight are strongly supportive of fracking, eight are cautious, and four are on the record in opposition.


  • Since 2011, certain influential pro-fracking interests have accelerated their spending to nearly double the previous four-year period.
  1. American Petroleum Institute spent $416,000 on lobbying from 2007 through 2011, but spent over $1.2 million from January 2012 through July 2013.
  2. Exxon Mobil spent $970,000 on New York lobbying from 2007-2011, increasing to $2.2 million.
  3. America's Natural Gas Alliance (founded in 2009 by the nation's largest fracking companies) and Halliburton had never lobbied in New York before 2012 and have since spent $290,000 and $120,000 respectively.

Top Pro-Fracking Spenders: 2007 to July 2013

  • "Direct fracking interests" spent $1.1 million on contributions and $15.6 million on lobbying. The top ten direct fracking interest spenders include Exxon Mobil ($3.2 million lobbying, $26,000 contributions), Chesapeake Energy ($2 million lobbying, $27,000 contributions), the American Petroleum Institute ($1.6 million lobbying), Spectra Energy ($1.6 million lobbying, $21,000 contributions), The Williams Companies ($1.4 million lobbying, $12,000 contributions), IOGA NY ($919,000 lobbying, $31,000 contributions), Hess Corporation ($748,000 lobbying, $5,000 contributions), National Fuel ($274,000 lobbying, $299,000 contributions), Talisman/Fortuna ($511,000 lobbying, $4,000 contributions), and Access Industries Inc. ($408,000 contributions).
  • "Oil and gas support industries" spent $9.6 million on contributions and $17.9 million on lobbying. The top ten oil and gas support industries spenders include O'Brien & Gere ($3.6 million lobbying, $275,000 contributions), General Electric ($2.2 million lobbying, $424,000 contributions), Arcadis/Malcolm Pirnie ($1.7 million lobbying, $67,300 contributions), Lafarge North America ($1.1 million lobbying, $122,000 contributions), Harris Beach PLCC ($289,000 lobbying, $824,000 contributions), Clough Harbour ($577,000 lobbying, $300,000 contributions), AECOM ($828,000 lobbying, $43,000 contributions), Nor- folk Southern ($819,000 lobbying, $11,000 contributions), Hiscock & Barclay ($812,000 contributions), and Nixon Peabody ($654,000 contributions).
  • "Pro-fracking business associations" spent $3.2 million on contributions and $13.9 million on lobbying. The top ten pro-fracking business associations and union spenders include The Business Council of New York State ($3.9 million lobbying, $448,000 contributions), New York Farm Bureau ($1.6 million lobby- ing, $46,000 contributions), American Council of Engineering Companies ($985,000 lobbying, $235,000 contributions), Associated General Contractors of NYS ($578,000 lobbying, $620,000 contributions), Unshackle Upstate ($1.1 million lobbying, $34,000 contributions), Associated Builders & Contractors ($543,000 lobbying, $371,000 contributions), New York Construction Materials Association ($639,000 lobbying, $192,000 contributions), American Chemistry Council ($734,000 lobbying, $24,000 contributions), Buffalo Niagara Partnership ($499,000 lobbying, $162,000 contributions), National Federation of Independent Businesses ($612,000 lobbying, $45,000 contributions).
  • "Pro-fracking unions" spent $1.6 million on contributions and $1.4 million on lobbying, led by the International Union of Operating Engineers ($788,000 lobbying, $763,000 contributions), and New York State Pipe Trades Association ($637,000 lobbying, $622,000 contributions).

For the full report and all data used in this report, please visit