Not-So-Hidden Fracking Money Fueling the 2016 US Elections

Written by on February 14, 2016 in Corruption, Government, Politics with 1 Comment


By David Turnbull | Oil Change International

The New York Times today has pulled together a list of all the individuals who have contributed over 1 million dollars in the 2016 election…and there’s some major fracking money hiding in plain sight.

If you take a quick glance at the Times’ list of big contributors, you’ll see a hodgepodge of hedge fund managers, CEOs of major companies, and, of course oil industry executives. But, if you dig a little deeper, one family quickly emerges as a major player in the 2016 race: The Wilks family.

The Wilks Family

So often, when we think of major Big Oil contributors we think of the Koch Brothers. Make no mistake, the Kochs are still major players funneling massive amounts of cash to stymie climate action and new regulations against the industry. But a new family — the Wilks family — has entered the fray in a big way.

Who is the Wilks family? Well, simply put, they are fracking billionaires. Farris and Dan Wilks made billions in Texas with their business, Frac Tech International, which provides equipment for fracking operations. Founded in 2002 as the fracking boom was just about to hit, they sold a bulk of their shares in the company in 2011 for over $3 billion.

Related Article:In ‘Tragic’ Decision, Top Ohio Court Takes Away Local Power to Ban Fracking

If you take a look at numbers 8, 9, 23 and 24 on the New York Times top political contributors list, you’ll see that Farris and his wife Jo Ann along with Dan and his wife Staci have contributed some $15 million in total during this election cycle to candidates and related Super PACs. That makes the Wilks family the largest contributors in this 2016 election thus far.

Related Article: Water Use For Fracking is Making Things Harder For Drought-Ridden States

Oh, and this isn’t the first time the Wilks family has thrown major cash around to sway politicians. In 2014, the city of Denton, Texas organized and became the first town in Texas to pass a ban on fracking in the town’s area. Shortly after, the Wilks family channeled $800,000 to members of the Texas state legislature who would eventually vote to overturn the ban.

We’ve long known that the oil and gas industry was buying politicians. This latest expose from the New York Times confirms it once again, and this time it is frackers in the lead.

Related Article:5 Things You Need to Know About the EPA Fracking Report

We need to separate oil and state if we’re going to have a chance of establishing a robust climate test that keeps fossil fuels in the ground and gets our government to stop funding fossils.


(cover image credit, Flickr, Simon Fraser University, Creative Commons BY 2.0 license)

Tags: , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

1 Reader Comment

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1.' Farrah Kaama Osren Soudani says:

    Love Davis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Send this to a friend