Fact Checkers Clear Hillary Of ‘Big Oil Bribes’

Among the slew of baseless attacks launched against Hillary Clinton this election cycle has been the accusation that she’s in the pocket of Big Oil because she’s taken gobs of money from them. It feeds nicely into the “Hillary is a corporate shill and totally evil” narrative and is now currently gospel among anti-Hillary voters.

Too bad it’s not true.

After Clinton was confronted by a Greenpeace activist demanding she answer for her “ties” to the fossil fuel industry, Clinton uncharacteristically blew a gasket:

“I have money from people who work for fossil-fuel companies. I am so sick — I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me.”

This caught my attention because Clinton doesn’t normally get that hostile. As a seasoned politician, she’s not prone to outbursts. But, as it turns out, she had good reason to be frustrated:

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, as of March 21, the Clinton campaign has received nearly $308,000 for individuals in the oil and gas industry. The Sanders campaign has received nearly $54,000.

In [sic] you include contributions from outside groups supporting a candidate, Clinton’s total increases slightly to $333,000, compared to Sanders’ $54,000.

A $279,000 difference may sound like a lot to you and me buuuuuuuut….

As our colleague Philip Bump noted, about 0.15 percent of Clinton’s campaign and outside PAC money is from the “oil and gas industry,” compared to 0.04 percent of Sanders’s contributions.

Yes, you read that correctly: .15 percent. As in, “less than percent.” As in, “a little more than one tenth of one percent.” Now, you COULD still insist that $308,000 is a huge amount but you’d still have to deal with that pesky fact that that money is from individuals that work in the industry, not the industry itself which, according to the Washington Post, has only given 2.3% of all the money it’s donated this cycle to Democrats. Not just Clinton but ALL Democrats combined are part of that 2.3%.

You know how some people say both parties are the same and in the pocket of Big Oil? Those people are idiots that should try living in the real world for a while.

It’s also been suggested by Greenpeace that any and all money donated to Clinton Super PACs is all from the fossil fuel industry if the lobbyist has a fossil fuel company as a client:

Greenpeace counts all of the money raised or contributed by lobbyists as “oil/gas industry” funds, but these lobbyists have many other clients besides the oil industry. Ben Klein, one of the lobbyists highlighted in the Greenpeace report, also lobbies for American Airlines, Cigna, and Hearst, according to the lobbying disclosure database, so in theory his contributions to the Clinton campaign could also be labeled as funds for airline, insurance or media industry.

It’s a convenient fiction that, again, plays into the “Hillary is evil” narrative. And, again, this is now gospel to those who hate Clinton. But the fact checkers at the Washington Post say otherwise:

The Sanders campaign is exaggerating the contributions that Clinton has received from the oil and gas industry. In the context of her overall campaign, the contributions are hardly significant. It’s especially misleading to count all of the funds raised by lobbyists with multiple clients as money “given” by the fossil-fuel industry.

This lands the “Hillary is in bed with Big Oil” story a whopping Three Pinocchios.

In my opinion, the recent exaggerations and flat-out lies about Hillary Clinton stem from the fact that Republicans have spent 25 years and millions of dollar inventing scandal after scandal with nothing to show for it. None of the old stories have worked and despite Clinton supposedly being guilty of all kinds of crimes and corruption, no one can ever seem to prove anything. At all. This means that she is either the smartest criminal in the history of the world or that she’s not the epitome of evil.

We should probably leave lies and innuendo to Republicans. We’re supposed to be better than this.


Featured image via Washington Post