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A coincidence of timing? Chevron contributes to CNOOC critics

AP reports: Three leaders in the congressional campaign to discourage Chinese oil company CNOOC Ltd.'s acquisition of Unocal Corp. accepted campaign contributions from rival suitor Chevron Corp. in recent weeks, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The lawmakers - Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. - have been among the most vocal on Capitol Hill in criticizing CNOOC's proposed deal as anticompetitive and a threat to national security. The perception that Congress could delay or spike a CNOOC deal is viewed as a major factor in Unocal's decision to stick with Chevron despite its lower bid.

All three donations were disbursed by Chevron on June 29, about a week after CNOOC announced its bid, according to Chevron's June report to the FEC. Pombo received a contribution of $2,000, while Conrad and Inhofe each received $1,000.

Pombo - who represents San Ramon, Calif., where Chevron is based - has received $21,500 from Chevron since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. -- AP Wire | 07/22/2005 | CNOOC critics took money from Chevron