ConocoPhillips is the big corporate winner after the Biden administration this week approved the massive Willow oil and gas project.
The project will open massive amounts of public land in Alaska’s North Slope to new drilling by the Houston-based petroleum company.
But several members of Congress — Democrats and Republicans alike — could also be winners thanks to their personal stock holdings in ConocoPhillips, a Raw Story analysis of congressional financial disclosures indicates.
Here are the lawmakers who could hit pay dirt:
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX): In July, McCaul’s wife, Linda Mays McCaul, purchased between $100,001 and $250,000 worth of ConocoPhillips stock, while one of their dependent children had between $50,001 and $100,000 purchased on their behalf, according to a disclosure McCaul filed with the U.S. House. (Lawmakers are only required to disclose the value of their stock trades in broad ranges.)
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA): Greene reported that she owned between $15,001 and $50,000 in ConocoPhillips stock, jointly held with her then-husband, Perry Greene, as of the end of 2021. She has not since indicated that she has since sold those shares or purchased more, according to federal records.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ): Between mid-2022 and early 2023, Gottheimer has purchased ConocoPhillips stock on four occasions. Each time, he reported he had purchased between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of shares. Gottheimer is a member of the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Capital Markets.
Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL): Frankel disclosed purchasing between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of ConocoPhillips stock shares in July. That’s on top of additional shares, also valued at between $1,001 and $15,000, she previously reported owning.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA): Since 2020, Khanna has disclosed that on at least 10 occasions, a financial adviser has traded ConocoPhillips stock shares on behalf of his wife, Ritu Khanna, and their dependent children. Each trade either fell within the $1,001-to-$15,000 or $15,001-to-$50,000 range. It appears the most recent of these ConocoPhillips stock trades took place in August 2021, according to a barely legible disclosure Khanna filed with the U.S. House in September 2021.
Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL): Rutherford reported owning between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of ConocoPhillips shares as of the end of 2021, and he has not since indicated that he sold those shares or purchased more, according to federal records.
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX): Jackson reported owning between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of ConocoPhillips shares as of the end of 2021, jointly held with his wife, Jane Ely Jackson. He has not since indicated that he sold those shares or purchased more, according to federal records.
Sen. John Boozman (R-AR): Boozman also reported owning between between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of ConocoPhillips shares as of the end of 2021, and he has not since indicated that he sold those shares or purchased more, according to federal records.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): Collins reported that her husband, Thomas Daffron, owned between $15,001 and $50,000 worth of ConocoPhillips stock as of the end of 2021. She has not since indicated that her husband sold those shares or purchased more, according to federal records.
Several other lawmakers have traded ConocoPhillips stock during the past three years but report no longer owning it, including Sen. Angus King (I-ME).
And while Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) reported having no stock in ConocoPhillips, he did in 2022 report owning a “working interest” in “Conoco” wells located in Stack and Dickinson counties in North Dakota. Value: $250,000 to $500,000.
ConocoPhillips’ stock price traded in the mid-$90 range on Wednesday — down from an all-time high in the mid-$130s in November, but more than three times above a 10-year low of about $27 per share in mid-March 2020.
Ban on congressional stock trading?
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) is leading an effort to ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks. Win McNamee/Getty Images
By law, members of Congress are allowed to buy and sell individual stocks so long as they disclose their trades — and those of their spouses and dependent children — within 45 days of a trade.
Dozens of lawmakers, however, have failed to follow this transparency rule.
This year alone, Raw Story reported that Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) have violated the disclosure provisions of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, a law Congress passed to curb insider trading among its members and defend against potential conflicts of interest.
During the 2021-2022 congressional session, Insider identified 78 lawmakers who violated the STOCK Act’s disclosure provisions.
And many members of Congress have also demonstrated financial conflicts-of-interest during the past decade, trading stock in companies that are directly affected by the decisions members of Congress make and often spend millions of dollars to lobby the federal government for preferential treatment.
News organizations including the New York Times, Insider, NPR and Sludge have documented many such conflicts, including those of federal lawmakers who bought and sold defense contractor stock while occupying positions on congressional armed services committees or otherwise voting on measures to send such companies billions of federal dollars.
The executive and judicial branches are riddled with similar financial conflict issues, too, as the Wall Street Journal has reported.
After a failed push last year that died at the hands of House Democrats, a bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers, including Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), are renewing efforts to ban federal lawmakers and their spouses from trading stocks altogether. Cryptocurrency trades are also a target.
“I have very little sympathy for anyone who thinks that giving up the ability to buy or sell individual stocks is a sacrifice,” Spanberger recently told Raw Story.