Rep. Price sure owns a lot of Oil Stock

The Sunlight Foundation has a blog post today called Oil Industry Influence: Personal Finances. It contains a chart of public information about how much stock in Oil companies members of the US House of Representatives own.

This chart shows stock holdings in the leading oil companies by members of the House of Representatives. If you aren’t familiar with personal financial disclosures, they require lawmakers to list assets in a range (i.e.: $15,001-$50,000). In the chart you will see a low estimate, a high estimate, and an average. In some cases, lawmakers list the actual value - not a range - and that is listed in this color.

So, who’s going to make money if Congress passes pro-oil industry legislation:

Top 25 Congressmen with Holdings in Leading Oil Companies
Congressman Low Estimate Average/Actual High Estimate
Hayes, Robin (R-NC) $3,645,012 $8,572,506 $13,500,000
Carter, John (R-TX) $1,000,001 $3,000,001 $5,000,000
Freylinghuysen, Rodney (R-NJ) $950,008 $1,500,004 $2,050,000
Sensenbrenner, James (R-WI) $1,133,985 $1,458,984 $1,783,983
Marchant, Kenny (R-TX) NA 429,148 NA
Sessions, Pete (R-TX) $215,003 $382,502 $550,000
Whitfield, Ed (R-KY) $200,002 $350,001 $500,000
Upton, Fred (R-MI) $195,005 $347,503 $500,000
Maloney, Carolyn (D-NY) $151,003 $258,002 $365,000
Price, David (D-NC) $130,003 $240,002 $350,000
Doggett, Lloyd (D-TX) $116,003 $215,502 $315,000
Berkley, Shelley (D-NV) NA $165,751 NA
Goode, Virgil (R-VA) $100,002 $150,001 $200,000
Buchanan, Vern (R-FL) $81,014 $148,007 $215,000
Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV) $66,003 $115,502 $165,000
Cohen, Steve (D-TN) $65,002 $107,501 $150,000
McCaul, Michael (R-TX) $46,004 $105,502 $165,000
Knollenberg, Joe (R-MI) NA $92,500 NA
Bono Mack, Mary (R-CA) $22,008 $88,504 $155,000
Moran, Jerry (R-KS) $51,002 $83,001 $115,000
Camp, Dave (R-MI) $32,004 $81,002 $130,000
Oberstar, James (D-MN) $50,001 $75,001 $100,000
Duncan, Jimmy (R-TN) $30,002 $65,001 $100,000

(Source: Open Secrets)


Another North Carolinian Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC) is up there at the top.


Brian, are you condemning him for what's in his portfolio, or are you just making a comparative observation about it?
I think this is pretty interesting. Anyone who owns stock in a particular company is invested in the success of that company. It means your financial interests are tied up with theirs. (But what about your environmental interests or other values?)

Could not an argument be made that a portfolio with a lot of "socially responsible" investments means that an elected official would be invested in the success of those companies?  Short of requiring all elected officials to put their holdings into blind trusts, I guess they could be criticized by someone no matter what they owned. 

For what it's worth, I have run the numbers before.  The stocks in my portfolio that are similar to those on that list have produced better returns than any of holdings labeled "socially responsible."  Like many people, it comes down to having the returns to use to support good organizations and causes versus not having as much return to do so.  I opt for the former.

On the third hand, is it conceivable that our national policies and international trade agreements could be such that "socially responsible"companies could become profitable in their own right without being a "cause" that can only survive on charity like oil returns? I hope we get a chance to find out with the next Congress.

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