Spending by oil and gas companies lobbying politicians on Capitol Hill jumped a whopping 57% between 2007 and 2008.
The oil and gas sector paid out a total of $128.6 million in 2008, compared to only $82 million in 2007. According to research we compiled using OpenSecrets.org's database,  this is an unprecedented rise in US lobbyist expenditures by the oil and gas sector.
In terms of lobbyist expenditures, the top 5 companies accounted for $72.6 million of this spending in 2008. In the year previous the top 5 spent only $38.76 million - a 53% increase in spending in a single year.
Here's a breakdown of the lobbying expenditures by top 5 oil and gas companies:
1. ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM)  - spent $29 million in 2008, up from $16.9 milion in 2007.
(click image to enlarge)
2. Koch Industries Inc.  - spent $15 million in 2008, up from $4.3 million in 2007
If you've never heard of Koch Industries Inc., you can check out a profile on the company that we've compiled here: Koch Industries Inc. 
3. BP America (NYSE: BP)  - spent $10.45 million in 2008, up from $4.6 million in 2007
4. Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX)  - spent $9.8 million in 2008, up from $8.9 million in 2007
5. Conoco Phillips (NYSE: COP)  - spent $8.4 million in 2008, up from $4 million in 2007
One Washington, DC insider says this unprecedented rise in lobbying activity is due the oil and gas industry feeling that they're in an "end game" with Congress considering a nationwide cap and trade policy and President Barack Obama turning his attention to alternative energy policies:
In late February of this year the Center for Public Integrity released a report  finding that:
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