GETTING BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THEIR FRIENDS…. It’s been exactly a year since the BP oil spill crisis began in the Gulf of Mexico, and despite progress, the region still hasn’t fully recovered.

BP, however, appears to be feeling a little better. Indeed, the oil giant hasn’t forgotten the fact that the Republican Party took its side through much of the ordeal, and is now rewarding its allies accordingly.

BP is doling out the cash again to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The company at the center of the storm in last year’s Gulf of Mexico spill sent out its first checks for the 2012 election cycle in March totaling $29,000. They went almost entirely to the campaigns of a handful of House Republican leaders.

BP’s political action committee has been quite generous, directing $5,000 contributions to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). BP North America’s political action committee sent another $5,000 to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) — though, to his credit, Upton later said he would give the money back — and $1,000 to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.).

What’s more, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee each accepted $5,000 from BP.

The oil company, it’s worth noting, tried to make contributions before the 2010 midterms, but candidates were afraid of a political backlash and declined the donations.

I guess the embarrassing period has passed?

For context, also keep in mind that just last month, congressional Republicans defeated a Democratic effort to end lucrative subsidies to extremely-profitable oil companies.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.