Ted Cruz received more money from oil and gas companies in 2018 than any other senator

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Graig Graziosi
·2 min read
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Senator Ted Cruz walks to check in for his flight back to the US at Cancun International Airport in Cancun, Mexico on 18 February 2021 (AP Photo/Dan Christian Rojas)
Senator Ted Cruz walks to check in for his flight back to the US at Cancun International Airport in Cancun, Mexico on 18 February 2021 (AP Photo/Dan Christian Rojas)

Sen. Ted Cruz has spent the last two months tripping over himself, first by championing Donald Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, which resulted in the Capitol insurrection, and again for fleeing his home state of Texas while millions suffered and more than 20 have died resulting from power outages and single degree temperatures caused by a massive winter storm.

What is especially egregious about Mr Cruz's attempt to flee the cold to vacation in the warm weather of Cancun is that the senator is largely funded by the same industry that failed to keep millions of Texans safe.

In 2020, Mr Cruz was among the top 20 recipients of oil and gas money in the Senate. He was given $124,272 by the industry that year.

Much more telling, however, is that in 2018 - an election year for Mr Cruz - he was the top recipient of oil and gas money in the Senate, receiving nearly $800,000 from the industry.

Over the course of his career, Mr Cruz has received a total of $3,770,950 from oil and gas interests.

Texas's power grid is managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, a private entity that has managed to escape federal regulation by only operating within the state's borders.

Politicians and energy experts have blamed the power supplier for the catastrophe in Texas, claiming that the company did not properly winterise its equipment, which allowed natural gas pipes to freeze.

Mr Cruz is one of numerous Texan politicians to receive massive amounts of money to represent the oil and gas industry in Congress.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has raked in an enormous $150m in oil and gas donations over the past six years, more than any other US governor.

Between Sen. John Cornyn, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, and Mr Cruz, the three have collectively received more than $1m in industry donations.

The influence of oil and gas may have influenced some Texan politicians' attempts to shift blame for the widespread power outages on wind turbines.

Mr Crenshaw blamed an "under investment in gas power" and "over-subsidized wind energy" on the power outages. However, ERCOT confirmed that wind turbine failure accounted for only a fraction of the failures.

Further, wind turbines are regularly used in extreme low-temperature conditions, including Antarctica. Like Texas's natural gas lines, the wind turbines froze because they were not properly outfitted to survive winter conditions.

Mr Cruz mostly avoided the attempt to shift blame.

"I got no defence" Mr Cruz tweeted. "A blizzard strikes Texas & our state shuts down. Not good. Stay safe!"

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