In the Name of Big Oil the Republican House is Savaging Regulations and the Environment

Last updated on June 28th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Big week. House vote on Holder Contempt of Congress sham (add the guaranteed republican pro-contempt vote to ‘nothing is certain but death and taxes’). Also front and center – the Supremes release Obamacare decision – maybe. This decision was made 2 months ago and kept a deep dark secret since then. Lord knows Politicus will be overwhelmed from just the collective reactions to these two issues.

I’ve already pretty much had my say on the ginned-up contempt farce and I don’t plan to jump on the court’s health care findings immediately. I’m going to let the decision marinate in the republican sauce of sleaze, corporate control, Koch money, heartlessness, low-information and bible-thumping monomaniacs.

That brings me to big oil, the industry that desperately needs billions to stay afloat while making record profits. It’s not just the money, however. They need the land and the sea…even when they don’t really need it. And they need control over all things that might impact their power base. Where do you get that kind of control? You buy off your nearest Colorado congressman through contributions, that’s where. Let’s see how that’s working for these oily bastards. Let’s start with H.R. 4480, a bill that managed to pretty much escape public notice in the wake of the aforementioned headline grabbers of health care and Holder.

I keep warning of a corporate takeover should Mitt Romney be elected president. H.R. 4480 is a wonderful illustration of what republican victories on the presidential and congressional levels would mean to this country. The bill’s sponsor is Cory Gardner. The Checks and Balances Project has tracked over $300,000 in oil and gas contributions to his campaign coffers. Gardner, a former Colorado state legislator, was one of the new breed of far right nut-cases that took over the house in 2010. He’s another of those 30-something up and comers you don’t hear much about. His membership of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, give big oil perfect ingress to most likely write their own legislation and send it to the floor through guys (and a few gals) like Cory.

Here’s what oil and their grease ball put together.

Let me start with one of the more puke-worthy elements of this piece of legislative trash. The bill would require air-pollution rules to be justified almost exclusively by their ECONOMIC IMPACT and not by their public health benefits. So to hell with your kid and that respiratory condition and screw elevated cancers, leukemia, lymphoma or whatever else can be rained down on the poor; there’s MONEY to made here!!!

Speaking of the environment, new environmental regulations for refineries would be shelved. I’ve lived in a refinery town. I know the health effects. Live near a refinery and you get substantial increases of toxins leaching into your home and fine dust settling on your car, not to mention the sweet smell of benzene. That shit will give you cancer pal. Thank you for voting republican.

The Cory bill also seeks to expand oil and gas drilling offshore and on federally owned land in the west, adding to the 26 million acres on the Outer Continental Shelf already leased, but ignored and the 21 million acres of onshore public lands that also fit that description according to Checks and Balances.

Next let’s take a look at Doug Lamborn’s H.R. 4283 effort. Got a hankerin’ to challenge a drilling or leasing action on public lands? Hand over $5,000 for the privilege. Lamborn calls it a documentation fee. Lamborn’s another extremist who rode the Colorado legislature to Washington. Trust me when I tell you he’s as right-wing as they get.

Please join me in welcoming our next public enemy – Mike Coffman. His H.R. 4382 gives the authority for deciding how much public land is available for drilling to the drillers. That’s right – the Bureau of Land Management will no longer have any say in how much public land big oil decides to peel off for their own selfish ends. He also wants to trash air and water quality and habitat protections and no longer expose oil companies to scientific review before drilling commences. Coffman is yet another Colorado cretin bent on serving his Petro-masters. He worked his way through the state house and senate, rose to State Treasurer and eventually Colorado Secretary of State, then it was off to the greener (and I do mean greener) pastures of congress. Oh, did I mention Coffman was a ‘birther’? Yep!

He’s also on just the right committees, including the Committee on Natural Resources, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources and the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and yes, PUBLIC LANDS! As Church Lady used to say, “How convenient.”

Credit the House Democrats for at least giving it the old college try. They floated a motion to bar the five biggest oil companies from receiving new leases until they gave up their federal tax breaks of roughly $4 billion. The party of fiscal responsibility promptly shitcanned that effort just as they’re paid to do.

I find this land grab interesting. The oil and gas industries have enough land to keep them busy for decades without adding a single acre. Why are they locking up all this terra firma? As in, “what are they up to?” They’re sitting on most of their leases while continuing to acquire land they won’t need way into the future and if our politicians do their alternate fuel job, might not EVER need!

Maybe it’s something as simple as getting a future right-wing legislature to allow Exxon to transpose a lease into ownership. Corporate ownership of public lands, probably for lots less than on the commercial market. Could that be it? If so, that would free up the oil pigs to do anything they damn well please with virtually no constraints of any kind on their way to obliterating planet earth.

I know I sound a bit on the mean side in my frustrations. You’re supposed to catch more bees with honey than with vinegar. Well, Obama has poured vats of honey over the opposition and they’ve responded with hateful bullshit. Our only hope is that republican moderates and certain independents are still open-minded enough to listen, look at their kids and accept the global warming realities of life.

As for right-wing haters of all things gay, black and brown, thank you for encouraging the inevitable destruction of the planet. In my next piece, I’m going to explain the exigency of heading off man-made climate change in the clearest terms possible.

Right-wingers, invite a liberal friend over to translate for you.

Addendum: It is painful in the wake of this story to be compelled to add a related development of such corporate hubris, greed and irresponsibility as to graphically illustrate what thoughtful and informed citizens are up against in the ongoing war to save the planet.

This avowed abuser of nature is ExxonMobil’s Rex Tillerson. The 60-year old has been with Exxon for 37 years, including the last 6 as Chairman and CEO. He has 4 children and is in the Eagle Scout Hall of Fame. He earned just short of $35 million last year. In a speech delivered June 20th, Tillerson actually made the following climate change observations. He is so casual about the lives of his children and, of course, the rest of us that he dismisses fears about climate change, drilling and energy dependence as “overblown”. Tillerson agrees that burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet, but in the dumbest statement I’ve ever heard from an educated man, says society will be able to adapt!

With extraordinary condescension, this arrogant bastard calls the public illiterate in science and math, blasts advocacy groups that manufacture fear and even calls the press lazy; the same press that kisses polluter’s collective asses almost daily. He said people would be able to adapt to rising sea levels and changing climates that may force agricultural production to shift. He said it’s an engineering problem.

No clearer picture of the enemy need be painted.

Dennis S

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