Casino executive Sheldon Adelson, a $5 million contributor to Restore Our Future, the super-political action committee backing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and a $30,800 donor to the Republican National Committee, which also supports Romney, has found another table to place his bets.
Adelson contributed $798,385 for radio advertisements aired by the New American Energy Opportunity Foundation, a nonprofit group headed by oil and gas executives that has called for expanded oil drilling offshore and on federal lands, including in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve in Alaska.
The group has criticized President Barack Obama’s energy policies, and claims the admnistration is blocking an increase in oil and gas production. The association’s chairman, Scott Noble, held a press conference last month with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to push for increased energy production.
“At the very moment when we have the potential to dramatically increase our oil and gas production, the federal government is throwing up more restrictions to development,” the group says on its Web site.
Actually, total oil production on federal lands and offshore has gone up 12 percent since Obama became president, overall oil production in the U.S. is at its highest level since December 1996, and the country met 83 percent of its energy needs during the first six months of the year, on track for the highest percentage since 1991.
Adelson is the 25th richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
He was 17th richest at the end of May, when Romney was paying a visit in Las Vegas to the casino magnate who had put $15 million into a super-PAC backing Romney-rival Gingrich’s campaign. Adelson also gave $7.5 million to the pro-Gingrich super-PAC Winning Our Future, as did his wife. Adelson and his wife combined have given $10 million to Restore Our Future.