Jul 23, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Big Oil lobbying dropped in Q2

Animated gif of an oil barrel disappearing under a cowboy hat.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big Oil's aggregate lobbying dipped in the second quarter, newly available public filings show.

Why it matters: They provide a guide to specific bills and topics companies lobbied on, and an overall look at money spent.

By the numbers: Here are a few tallies for the biggest companies and their most powerful trade group.

  • The American Petroleum Institute, which represents companies across the industry, reported $1.31 million, their lowest quarterly tally in over a decade.
  • ExxonMobil, the largest U.S.-based multinational, reported $1.76 million, down from $2.67 million the prior quarter, and their lowest total since the Lobbying Disclosure Act was amended to require the quarterly filings over a decade ago.
  • Chevron reported $1.95 million, down from $3.05 million in Q1.
  • Shell reported $1.63 million, down from $1.87 million in Q1.
  • BP reported $1.04 million, which is similarly their smallest amount since the quarterly system began.
  • ConocoPhillips, a giant independent producer, reported $580,000 — a significant drop from the prior period.
  • Occidental, another huge independent, reported $640,000, down from $2.3 million the prior quarter.

But we don't know exactly what's behind the decline.

  • One person who works in government affairs for a large oil-and-gas company tells me the smaller totals reflect a slowing down of lobbying work as people figure out how to navigate remote interactions during the pandemic.
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