May 4th, 2010
07:45 PM ET
13 years ago

Landrieu won't say if she'll return BP money

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Mary Landrieu avoided saying whether she would return donations from BP on Tuesday."]Washington (CNN) - Despite receiving $28,200 in campaign donations from BP over the last 10 years, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, avoided saying Tuesday whether she will return contributions from the energy giant in the wake of the company's devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Landrieu was asked in an interview on CNN's "John King, USA" if she should return the money given her oversight role on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee.

"I'm not trying to be [a] watchdog for BP," Landrieu said. "I am trying to be a good senator for this country and for Louisiana, and to bring a balance to our energy policy, which is protecting our coast, fighting for energy security and a clean environment."

Over the past decade, Landrieu has received nearly $753,000 from the oil and gas industry, according to, a non-partisan website that follows the “influence of money on U.S. politics.”

The Democrat dismissed claims that the energy industry is poorly regulated.

"I don't believe that's a fair criticism," she told King. "I think that this industry has very tight regulations and good regulations."

Landrieu said it would be "absolutely wrong" to shut down offshore drilling completely. Such a move, she argued, would send companies elsewhere and put the oil and gas companies under foreign jurisdictions with looser regulations.

"That's not going to do anything to clean our environment, that's not going do anything to create jobs, we will lose jobs, and it's not going to do anything to make America energy independent," she said.

UPDATED CORRECTION: The initial version of this story inaccurately reported that Landrieu received $1.8 million in contributions from BP. CNN regrets the error.

Filed under: JKUSA • John King USA • Louisiana • Mary Landrieu • Popular Posts
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Discernment

    Sen. Mary Landrieu = [The female version of Republican Senator John McCain. Will say what ever it takes to stay in office.]

    May 4, 2010 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. ronalde

    Then whythen why doesn't bp have automatic cut off valves that would have advoided much of this spill,the industry is poorly regulated,why is it that bp has had4 or 5 bad accidents in recent years,Don't give the money back to bp donate it to 11 families that lost a love one.I read that a shutoff valve would have cost half a million dollars small sum,compared to the 5 million that the ceo took home last year or the 5 billion that bp made in the first quarter of this year,the dems need some one in louisiana that really cares for the people and not big corporations,get rid of mary.

    May 4, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  3. BDK

    Thats because it has already been spent by her on other things.

    May 4, 2010 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  4. Jim in Idaho

    Yeah we need oil....but one has to wonder what coastal state in the union is willing to now risk their economies, their tourism, their livelihood, their scenery.... over more offshore drilling. A single oil well damages all these things in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida.....probably in Mexico and Cuba as well.

    We produce less than 4% of the world's oil, but we luxuriate in using 25% of it. Even if we DOUBLE our off-shore production, it would leave us 16% short of where we need to be, namely NO oil imports.

    So....what state volunteers to be next? What politician will be willing to trade $1.8 million in self-serving political donations (like Mary Landrieu did) while betting their state's economic future on the roll of the oil dice? Politician's like Landrieu will be retired on a great government pension with taxpayer-paid health benefits LONG before the mess in the Gulf is repaired. She'll be fine....the gulf won't.

    May 4, 2010 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  5. rdepontb

    I caught the interview with John King. He was very direct in asking her about maybe returning the money, given her committee appointments and the appearance of conflict with the monies she has received from places like BP for a decade.

    Landrieu seemed quite non-plussed, quite unnatural and quite evasive when responding to John's direct question. She did not exonerate herself well at all; she does seem like an oil stooge.

    May 4, 2010 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  6. Joe

    That money already been spent. Why returning the money to BP, BP didn't blew up its rig purposely. Either it was an accident or an act of sabotage. The later might be true. I might see an Obama challenger here in 2012.

    May 4, 2010 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  7. keith in Austin

    This two-bit politician needs to go!

    May 4, 2010 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |

    She has sold out to the big banks also. Time to go Mary. Defending BP for money. Have you no shame?

    May 4, 2010 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. John Aurand

    I am a Republican and I do not think that she needs to return the money to BP.

    May 4, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    As if. So once we find out what a lousy deal ObamaCare is, do you expect she will return to Harry Reid the $300 million widely known as the Louisiana Purchase? Not happening. When she sells her votes, they stay sold!

    May 4, 2010 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  11. Franklin

    [Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, avoided saying Tuesday whether she will give the money back in the wake of the company's devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.]

    Two clues in that sentence already tells you that she has absolutely NO intention of giving the money back....the first clue: "avoided saying"....the fact that she didn't come right out and give a definitive answer means she is keeping the money. The second clue: the D between her name and the state she represents....Democrats don't give back money they don't earn!

    May 4, 2010 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  12. Leslie

    Landrieu should donate that money to the clean up effort in the Gulf!!

    May 4, 2010 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  13. Michele

    And I suppose she said that all with a straight face. I have never seen people who lie as well and as often as Republicans in the past year. Astonishing.

    May 5, 2010 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  14. Ron in Palm Springs

    Whoa whoa whoa. . . Wait a second. All this time the Left has been telling us that only the Rethugs are in the pockets of the Oil Companies. Can someone please get their facts straight?

    May 5, 2010 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  15. Bill

    Why would anyone even ask her to return the money? I don't understand the reasoning behind it. All of a sudden BP is demonized because of an accident and any politician that has accepted money is somehow responsible for the accident via financial osmosis?


    May 5, 2010 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  16. Ken in NC

    Now I'm a Democrat but I gotta ask this question. IS THIS WOMAN AN IDIOT? Speaking of the Oil Industry after this accident and a couple of others BP has had in the last 5 or 6 year she says,

    "I think that this industry has very tight regulations and good regulations."

    Does she realize just how stupid that statement sounds on the heels of this "Slow Motion Hurricane" that's about to slam the gulf coast or is this just what BP Oil told her to say? If she thinks that is a true statement then she must be a lot of bricks shy of a full load.

    May 5, 2010 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  17. KeithTexas

    Why would she give the money back? It constantly amuses me, the idiotic things the writers, masquerading as journalist seem to think equals ethics. No wonder our government is in such poor shape, if the young people think that continuing to act like children in adult bodies equals maturity. Every Congressman and Senator in Washington lives with conflicts of interest every day, every year, as long as they are employed by our Government.

    Scoundrels and Thieves every one of them, but there is no reason to single out Landrieu and ask her to return money. If you want to be a serious journalist then take on the whole corrupt culture of Washington.

    May 5, 2010 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  18. roy

    Why would ANY liberal Democratic Rep. return any tainted $$$$$$$$$$$$

    May 5, 2010 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  19. coloradocitizen

    No surprises here. This is the same woman who told Anderson Cooper that she thought the federal govt. had responded well in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Anderson returned with a strong rebuke. King should have done the same thing re: her comments regarding regulation. She is a joke who has always been the the pocket of big oil.

    May 5, 2010 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  20. Leon J. Swartzentruber

    She is right. I don't live in Louisiana and wouldn't vote for her if did but she is right on this.

    May 5, 2010 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
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