In the never-ending fight for government control, the oil industry continues wielding inordinate power and influence over members of Congress. Over the past few months, the Republican drive to force President Obama to grant a Presidential Permit to TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline has engendered outrage from environmentalists and concerned Americans who gain absolutely nothing if, and when the pipeline is constructed, and yet the GOP is ramping up their pressure. On Monday, Republican senators upped the ante and joined House Speaker John Boehner’s Keystone XL drive and are using legislation to repay the oil industry for the gifts they shower on Republicans.
GOP Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota introduced legislation that would allow work to start right away on the pipeline despite no benefits for America. The bill has 44 co-sponsors that are all Republicans except for Joe Manchin (D-WV) and together, they received $22.3 million in campaign contributions for their obedience. Seven of the Senators have taken over one-million dollars from the oil industry to create oil industry legislation. Hoeven adopted Speaker John Boehner’s bad habit of lying to Americans about the pipeline’s benefits despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Besides lying about potential jobs, Hoeven and his cohorts ramped up the fallacious claim the pipeline reduces fuel prices and dependency on foreign oil. Hoeven lied in a statement when he said, “It will create thousands of jobs, help control fuel prices at the pump and reduce our reliance on Middle East oil.”
The oil belongs to a foreign company, TransCanada, and after it traverses prime agricultural land on its way to Texas for refining, it will be sold on the foreign market according to TransCanada. Americans will see none of the refined diesel at the pumps and to make matters worse for Midwest farmers, American oil reserves will be drained and sent to Texas for sale on foreign markets. The net result is rising fuel prices for Americans as their oil supply is suppressed as reported by TransCanada to investors. If there are questions about why TransCanada did not build a pipeline in Canada to ship tar sand crude to West coast refineries, it is because the project is too dangerous; Canadian regulators rejected the pipeline. It is just another little fact the oil industry has forbidden John Boehner and Republicans to mention.
In a stunning report by Republican media outlet Fox News, they enumerated six reasons the pipeline is a horrible idea and unbelievably, they praised President Obama for rejecting Republican attempts to force him into approving the pipeline. Their six reasons are; 1)Keystone XL Would Not Reduce Foreign Oil Dependency, 2) Keystone XL Would Have Increased Domestic Oil Prices, 3) Keystone XL Overstated Number of Jobs to be Created, 4) Current Keystone Pipeline Leaked 12 Times in Last Year, 5) The Environmental Concerns About Oil Leaks Are Justified, and 6) Mining Tar Sands Would Worsen Global Warming. It cannot be overstated the importance of Fox News coming out against this project, but it also demonstrates the power and influence foreign oil wields over Republicans in Congress. As reported here on Monday, even Indiana’s governor, Mitch Daniels, took up the Keystone XL mantle and used Indiana taxpayer dollars to lobby for the pipeline that does not pass through his state.
Putting the Keystone controversy aside, this is a classic example of big oil’s long reach into the halls of Congress and the level of lies and misinformation Republicans are willing to spread to repay the industry with tailor-made legislation. The new Senate bill would bypass the President and allow Congress to approve the project even though the State Department said the President should maintain his authority because of foreign policy, economic, environmental, and safety issues, but the oil industry that controls Republicans in Congress disagrees and called on Republicans to pay their debts with a piece of legislation. Now, foreign oil directed the Republican-controlled House to create legislation to advance the project and Boehner said legislation may be included in a highway and infrastructure bill in February. Boehner owns stock in seven Canadian tar sand companies and stands to gain personally if the pipeline is built. His malfeasance prompted a petition drive to demand he resign or face expulsion for performing official acts on behalf of donors and conflict of interest, and prompted the Securities and Exchange Commission to consider an investigation for manipulating share price.
This is the nature of Republican oil whores. The oil industry paid Republicans and they expect them to put out despite overwhelming evidence the pipeline will cost Americans higher fuel costs and a devastated environment. None of the information is secret or hidden from Republican legislators, and if anyone with access to the Internet can find facts and data on the pipeline’s detrimental effect on fuel prices and the environment, then investors like Speaker Boehner certainly know the dirty truth and ignores it to enrich foreign oil. Boehner is the worst of the lot and besides threatening President Obama with tying the pipeline’s approval to 160-million Americans’ payroll tax cut extension, now he is threatening to attach Keystone XL to an infrastructure and highway bill. Apparently, when the industry pays $22.3 million for a piece of legislation, Republicans dutifully answer with a made-to-order bill giving America’s real Congress what they demand.
Americans have a simple choice; give up the notion of representative democracy and acquiesce to government by foreign oil, or reject Republicans and reclaim their government. There is no length the GOP will avoid to enrich the oil industry, and they have even elicited derision from their media outlet, Fox News, to please foreign oil. Regardless what anyone thinks about Fox News, if they label the Keystone XL pipeline a bad idea and Republicans still promote it, it is certain that foreign oil controls the GOP and without voter interdiction, they will control the entire nation.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.