But Rossi has certainly been a beneficiary of oil companies in the past. Tesoro, owner of the Anacortes refinery where five people died in a fire last April, gave Rossi $3,800 between his 2004 and 2008 gubernatorial races, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission. ConocoPhillips, owner of another state refinery, wrote him checks totaling $2,350. And BP, owner of the well pumping oil into the Gulf of Mexico, gave him $1,625.
Environmental groups questioned his green cred two years ago pointing out that in 2002, while in the State Senate, Rossi opposed a bill requiring the state to meet increased energy demand without increasing green house gas emissions.
And in yesterday's campaign announcement, he opposes taxes touted by enviros saying: "If we enact much more of this stuff, whether it's cap and trade, energy taxes or a value added tax, then all the work and sacrifice our parents and grandparents did to make this country great for us will have been squandered."
It remains to be seen if Rossi will try to rebuild a green rep by supporting a ban on offshore drilling, at the risk of pissing off some big donors.