Former Boehner aide picked to lead oil and gas lobby: reports

Former Boehner aide picked to lead oil and gas lobby: reports
© Greg Nash

Mike Sommers, a former aide to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems Nancy Pelosi: Will she remain the ‘Face of the Franchise’? Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker MORE (R-Ohio), could soon be jumping from the financial services world to the oil and gas industry after reportedly being selected to lead the American Petroleum Institute (API).

Sommers, who is now the CEO of the American Investment Council, a group representing the private equity industry, is in line to replace long-time API president and CEO Jack Gerard, according to multiple reports. The decision will be final once it's approved by API's board of directors.

“The successor to Jack Gerard will be announced at the appropriate time once the committee has completed its work," Eric Wohlschlegel said in a statement to The Hill, identical to one sent to both Bloomberg and Axios

Sommers did not respond to an email asking for confirmation. 

Gerard will officially step down at the end of August. 

The head of API is one of the most prominent and prestigious positions in Washington's advocacy industry.

In 2016, Sommers received a total compensation of about $1.5 million at the American Investment Council, an organization with $7 million in revenue. By contrast, Gerard earned nearly $6.8 million that same year. 

API, which represents a large swath of the oil and gas industry, takes in $229.7 million in revenue, making it a powerhouse. Last year, it spent about $7.5 million on lobbying, making it one of the top 50 spenders on advocacy in Washington.

Before heading to K Street, Sommers spent nearly his entire 20-year career in BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBlue wave poses governing risks for Dems Nancy Pelosi: Will she remain the ‘Face of the Franchise’? Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker MORE's office, starting as an intern and eventually rising to be the Ohio lawmaker’s chief of staff. Sommers also had a one-year stint in the George W. Bush White House in 2005.

His current employer, the American Investment Council, played a key role during tax reform, fighting to preserve the “carried interest” tax break, a provision that lawmakers of both parties have railed against. It enables some private equity and hedge fund executives to pocket profits at the lower capital gains rate.

Sommers talked about his transition to lobbying in an interview with The Hill in 2016.

“It’s sure different than working on Capitol Hill, but I’m finding that a lot of the skills you learn working on Capitol Hill translate very nicely,” he said.

-- Updated at 7:46 p.m.