Bob Higgins

Corralling Public Money, Alms for Oil

Posted in Environment, Financial Crime, History, Politics by Bob Higgins on February 12, 2011
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Oil Subsidies, Our Biggest Welfare Program Ever

Alms For Big Oil

The LA Times reported yesterday that former astronaut Harrison Schmitt was forced to step down as New Mexico’s energy “czar” due to his refusal to cooperate with a state mandated background check.

Schmitt who did one term in the Senate (1977-1983) and was placed in charge of the Republican Candy desk, is a staunch denier of ethnocentric climate change and has equated environmentalists with communists.

And you thought both sides of the equation had to balance?

No other information was available on why Schmitt was so shy, maybe he’s hiding more than climate data or maybe he’s just stubborn.

New Mexico’s governor, Susana Martinez, thought that Schmitt would make a great partner in dismantling the forward looking environmental policies pushed through during Bill Richardson’s tenure, but now…. not so much.

Have a climate change problem? Put a solid denier in charge of environmental policy. No more problem.

Much of the southwest has been making environmental problems disappear with this sort of artistry since James Watt and the “Sagebrush Rebels.”

Please come back Ed Abbey, bring wrenches, we need you now, more than ever.

Peter H. Gleick, climate scientist and President of of the Pacific Institute, writing at the Huffington Post last week does a beautiful job of dismantling Schmitt’s whimsical offerings on climate change.

Also at Huff Post and environmentally related is a piece by Elise Foley in which she lays out the coming battle over federal subsidies to big oil.

Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) said at a press conference on Friday he hoped to introduce an amendment to the upcoming continuing resolution bill to reduce oil subsidies and fund other projects, but said GOP rules would not allow for such a measure.

“When their corporate sponsors want to protect their special interests in the internal revenue code, Republican­s have rules for that,” Andrews said. “Why don’t we take a small piece of the tax giveaway to Exxon and give it to homeless veterans?”

The tone of her closing paragraph conveys, to me at least, the piteousnes­s of what is left of the Democratic party. They constantly approach republican­s and corporate flacks with hats in hand and plead for alms; “Prithee Sir,” wilt thou not give some small token to the poor, thy larder is so full, and we suffer sorely?”

Hearing this pathetic begging the plutocrat calmly flicks his cigar ash in the supplicant­’s eye and continues on the “Lord’s business” of shepherdin­g public funds into his personal corral.

I don’t want “a small piece” of the mountain of public money that disappears each year into the cavernous maw of the oil and gas industry, I want it all, it’s not their money, it belongs to the people of this country as does the oil, as well as much of the land and water above it.

That money is necessary to fund the developmen­t of emerging technologi­es that will create jobs, rid us of our servitude to the oil barons and remove the excuse for resource wars over energy that are fueling the supply of disabled veterans in the first place.

We need a crash program to put these oiligarchs out of the business of fleecing the public and poisoning the planet while paying off every public official in sight.

When will these guys wake up?

Sorry, don’t bother to answer that question, I think I know the answer.

Bob Higgins


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