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Posts Tagged ‘oil industry’

Today’s Flickr photo

Anti-drilling protestors in Istanbul, Turkey. Flickr photo by 350.org.

If you read one thing today . . .

NPR has an interesting flowchart of all the “independent” money pouring into this year’s midterm elections. The accompanying story breaks down this “Web of GOP influence,” showing a how a handful of corporate front groups are working together, literally out of the same suite of offices. NPR’s Peter Overby and Andrea Seabrook explain:

Their ads seem to imply the groups are homegrown. But every single one mentioned here is based within 20 minutes of Capitol Hill. Most of them, in fact, are in just two office suites.

As for their independence: It would be illegal for them to coordinate their attacks with the candidates they’re helping, or with Republican Party committees. But among themselves, they’re proud of the way they synchronize their efforts.

“If one group puts an ad on television in a certain congressional district, they let everyone else know that,” says Jonathan Collegio with American Crossroads. “This way they don’t double up on the advertising.”

Overheard:

We’re actually going to be a little sad to see Arnold Schwarzenegger step down as governor of California. We don’t agree with everything the governator does but he’s right on the money when it comes to Washington’s fealty to the oil industry. He told ABC’s Diane Sawyer that Congress is filled with a bunch of gutless wimps:

“We need to go to Washington and say, look what happened … because oil companies have spent money against you, they have threatened you, you backed off the energy policy and the environmental policy in Washington. What wimps. No guts. I mean, here, you idolize and always celebrate the great warriors. Our soldiers, our men and women who go to Iraq and Afghanistan, and they’re risking their lives to defend this country and you’re not even willing to stand up against the oil companies. … That’s disgusting. You promised the people you’d represent them. You didn’t promise the people you’d represent the oil companies and the special interests.”

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The April 20 explosion at a BP exploratory drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico – spewing as many as 210,000 gallons of crude oil each day – is fast becoming the worst oil spill disaster in U.S. history.

On March 31, President Barack Obama announced a plan to open to drilling 167 million acres of East Coast waters and other protected areas in the northern waters of Alaska. While drumming up support for his expansion plan, Obama said, “Oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced.”

We see now that the technology failed. In fact, while you read this, response teams are still working to stop the leak and keep up with the ever-expanding oil slick, which now spans more than 100 miles and threatens coastal areas of three states. More than 400 species of wildlife are at risk. And people who make their living from fishing and tourism face economic ruin.

This catastrophe shows why we should do less – not more – offshore oil drilling. It is high time for Obama to reinstate the ban on the expansion of offshore drilling.

The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico seriously challenges the administration’s claims that offshore oil and gas development is safe. Obama claimed that expanding drilling will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but now we see that domestic fossil fuel production threatens our workers, economy and environment too, reinforcing the urgent need to move not just away from foreign oil but away from all dirty and dangerous fuel sources and toward clean renewable sources and robust efficiency standards.

In 2008, Congress allowed a 27-year-old ban on offshore drilling to expire. The ban –enacted after the Exxon Valdez spill – was intended to protect our coastal wildlife and the communities that depend on them for their livelihood. If nothing else, the current disaster makes clear the urgent need to reinstate this ban.

Please help avert future environmental calamities: Urge Obama to reinstate an immediate ban on the expansion of offshore drilling.

Allison Fisher is the energy organizer for Public Citizen. Cross-posted at Citizen Energy.

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If you missed Tyson Slocum’s appearance on the Colbert Report, you can check it out on the Colbert Nation Web site. The U.S. Department of the Interior couldn’t have provided Comedy Central parodist Stephen Colbert with better fodder. As Derek Kravitz and Mary Pat Flaherty wrote in the Washington Post, a government investigation revealed an agency out of control with employees in charge of collecting oil industry royalties accused of doing drugs and having sex with industry reps. Tyson, director of Public Citizen’s energy program, wrote about these same royalty deals in a July post titled “Another sweetheart deal for the oil companies.”

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