In the days leading up to Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, a letter was signed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and 21 other Republicans urging the President to pull out of the climate accord.

It has now emerged that these Republican senators received huge pay-outs from the Oil & Gas industry – a neat coincidence?

  • Trump campaigned on “cancelling” the Paris Agreement
  • Pay-outs range from $184,250 for Senator David Perdue (R-Georgia) to more than $3 million for Texas Senator John Cornyn

The GOP senators send the two-page letter to the White House arguing that remaining in the international agreement signed by Obama which pledged to reduce carbon emissions would induce legal challenges to the Trump administration’s plan to roll back environmental regulations.

The majority of the senators who put their name to this document are from the states that depend on the continued burning of fossil fuels, including Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe and others who, like Trump, have suggested the scientific data showing the Earth is warming due to man-made carbon emissions is a hoax.

This letter accompanied a letter sent to Trump by attorneys general from 10 Republican-led states including oil-rich Texas and coal-dependent West Virginia.

“A key risk to fulfilling this objective is remaining in the Paris Agreement. Because of existing provisions within the Clean Air Act and others embedded in the Paris Agreement, remaining in it would subject the United States to significant litigation risk that could upend your administration’s ability to fulfill its goal of rescinding the Clean Power Plan,” the letter reads. “Accordingly, we strongly encourage you to make a clean break from the Paris Agreement.”


On the other side, forty Democratic senators sent Trump a letter urging him to remain in the Paris Agreement, noting that a withdrawal would hurt America’s credibility and influence on the world stage, where nations around the world look to the United States to take the lead on climate.

Hundreds of high-profile businesses have spoken out in favour of the deal, including Apple, Google and Walmart. Even fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell say the United States should abide by the deal.

Even though its companies like Exxon that are providing the financial support for the signing Republican senators.

Money talks

Here is how much all the letter co-signers received from the industry:

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky): $1,975,245

Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas): $3,031,956

Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho): $440,937

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas): $2,484,520

Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming): $728,766

Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri): $1,143,574

Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming): $513,733

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah): $772,179

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah): $281,620

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky): $286,465

Senator David Perdue (R-Georgia): $184,250

Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho): $209,900

Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas): $817,150

Senator Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota): $204,900

Senator Tim Scott (R-South Carolina): $523,276

Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama): $532,846

Senator Luther Strange (R-Alabama): (NO DATA AVAILABLE)

Senator Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina): $263,400

Senator John Boozman (R-Arkansas): $281,352

Senator Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi): $462,890