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. Victor

    The tightest regulations in the world mean nothing if there is no enforcement of them. Which she did not address.

    May 4, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  2. Average American

    She also needs to return the money from the oBAMAcare bribe....

    May 4, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  3. Oiler

    She went against most of the people in Louisiana when she voted for the healthcare fiasco and sold us out with the Louisiana Purchase.However she is right about the oil industry. Waxman and the other bunch from ca. need to keep growing avocados, or whatever it is they do out there. Looks like yet another takeover of an industry by this admin and congress, that knows nothing about the industry to start with, Convenient, huh?

    May 4, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  4. Ed Sanborn

    Hey Landreiu,

    Why don't you work on installing the safeguards that they have in
    place in Europe on their oil drilling stations!!

    Stop wasting time and energy dodging blame and take action.

    May 4, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. Bryan

    There is no reason why a candidate should have to return money from BP to curry favor with voters just because they had an accident, however huge it is. It's not like they intentionally blew up their own rig to poison the ocean and coastline. Come on guys, let's be reasonable!

    May 4, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  6. Larry

    Give the money back Landrieu.

    Show the Republicans how easy it is to have a backbone.

    May 4, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  7. Willy Brown

    She works hard for that money.....

    May 4, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  8. Marie (Portland, Oregon)

    There is no reason for her to return campaign donations. The media is trying to infer she is in BP's pocket and that is very far from the truth. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana is quick to say what she thinks and isn't shy about grilling CEOs and her fellow lawmakers whenever necessary.

    May 4, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. Hammerer

    Once again Landrieu shows that she is for sale. But that should not come as a surprise. A good congressman or in this case woman can always be bought. The past few months that has been a highlight of the Dems ramming through legisiation.

    May 4, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  10. Dan

    Will Obama return Goldman's money?
    All Democrats take money from corporations and claim to be the little guy's party (which they obviously are not). This makes a lot of liberal very deceiving politicians.... the make sure America "keeps me your poor, your tired"... as "potential Democratic voters"

    May 4, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  11. g ontario

    his she the only one thats taken oil company money in the last 10 yr,s stupid question maybe all the workers that worked on bp rigs should give there money back too agian stupid question

    May 4, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  12. Alicia

    If you got the 'dime', Landrieu got the 'time' and 'vote'. I despise Rush but he may be right on this one.

    May 4, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Did she vote to give BP any special favors? Did she vote to relax safety standards on their behalf?
    If not, the money is fine. If she did, then she should be recalled.
    Either way- the money's return is a stupid request.

    May 4, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  14. harold

    Why is it that European countries have a LAW requriing extra secure device to prevent spills and blow outs while USA LAW does not have this extra security device as reported earlier when the spill happened.?????. .. Of course we all know that USA does not believe in undue Government regulations and big government to protect its people.. We know all about that.. So question is can Small government...... USA style protect us from OIL spills and Terrorists?

    May 4, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  15. Generation Mugwump

    I don't think is a fair comparison and criticism talking about this issue. Many politicians and lawmakers make money of Wall St and other Monopoly companies. It includes both sides of the aisle.

    I don't approve of regulation or getting in people's biz, is the American way. I always like to think that companies of all kind run a nice, ethic and cleanse environment.

    May 4, 2010 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  16. AJ

    Thats my 1.8 million dollar story and I'm sticking to it!

    May 4, 2010 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    In short, she will keep the money, there is nothing illegal about that! Perception? Now that is a completely different issue!

    May 4, 2010 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  18. Terry from West Texas

    Why are foreign corporations making campaign contributions to our weak-will and temptable elected representatives? Is it because the CEOs are supporters of good government and they seek out the best of the best for their support? Or, do they see the contribution as a payment in exchange for access and friendly attention to their needs?

    May 4, 2010 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  19. William Jefferson

    Why should she give back BP money? Did she take it as a bribe? Are they a criminal enterprise?

    This is more diversion from the gop because they don't actually have real issues or ideas to run on.

    May 4, 2010 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. vegage

    Shame on her...

    May 4, 2010 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  21. TonyInLargo

    Heck no, don't return it

    May 4, 2010 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  22. 66Biker

    Why should she give previous campaign donations back? I seriously doubt a Republican would. If they gave her the donations a week or two before this problem started it would be different. But over the last ten years? That's old news. (Hint hint, CNN...) Even if she did give all that money back it would only pay for about one third of the losses they are incurring in one day, which would hardly make a difference. Besides, with gas prices they way they have been I think BP has made plenty of money recently.

    May 4, 2010 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  23. TF

    Mary Landrieu has done quite a bit as for as making sure Louisiana
    received their fair share from the offshore oil leases,so I don't think that she should give one penny back to BP. She is also right about not stopping offshore drilling because it would only lead to even more dependence of foreign oil. The media is making mountain out of a mole hill on this spill. Just like they went after Toyota. If these companies were American companies they would not being highlighting every move and politicizing the entire accident. The only losers in this accident were they families that lost their loved ones. The wildlife will prosper again and so will the fishing industry.

    May 4, 2010 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  24. phoenix86

    I bet she keeps it. Its is in line with the democrat hypocracy position. They believe that everything is permissable for them and nothing is permissable for anyone else unless they say so.

    Pathetic bunch of parasites on the American taxpayer.

    May 4, 2010 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  25. Vincent Foti

    She should return the money. I am a democrat that believes that it is wrong to take money from business that can influence your decisions for good of the American people. Republicans and Democrats should adhere to the creed of service and avoiding even the appearance of evil. Most politicians take money that they should not.

    May 4, 2010 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
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