Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oily Politics Wrecking Democracy


Cornered like rats over the last few weeks, Republican congressmen who take legalistic bribes from Big Oil-- like John Boehner, Daniel Webster and Paul Ryan-- have publicly promised their constituents to make Big Oil pay their fair share. Given the opportunity to do just that by the Democrats in the House, they all danced away from their promises and voted for tens of billions in tax dollar subsidies to go to the most profitable corporations in history. Why? Simple, Big Oil cuts them in on the plunder. They pay "protection money" (billions) to Republican and Blue Dog politicians in return for our tax dollars flowing their way; it's the scam of the century.

Yesterday Greg Sargent reported on a CNN poll showing that the public overwhelmingly (61%) blames high gas prices on Big Oil. 59% of Americans blame Wall Street speculators "a great deal" and another 31% blame Wall Street speculators "somewhat." These are the Wall Street speculators that were enabled by a Republican filibuster in the Senate that would have brought they outrageous predatory activities under control.

You may not hear or read this in the American media-- which has interlocking directorships with Big Oil-- but yesterday's Guardian reported on a landmark study that shows efforts being willfully suppressed by Big Oil and their right-wing allies could give us a world in our lifetimes where clean energy meets 80% of our needs. If you follow DWT you already know what a believer I've become after installing solar panels that brought my monthly electric bill down from over $1,000 to exactly zero. All my electric is free and I produce more than I use and it goes back into the grid. (I get a credit in case we ever have 40 days of darkness.)
Renewable energy could account for almost 80% of the world's energy supply within four decades - but only if governments pursue the policies needed to promote green power, according to a landmark report published on Monday.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of the world's leading climate scientists convened by the United Nations, said that if the full range of renewable technologies were deployed, the world could keep greenhouse gas concentrations to less than 450 parts per million, the level scientists have predicted will be the limit of safety beyond which climate change becomes catastrophic and irreversible.

Investing in renewables to the extent needed would cost only about 1% of global GDP annually, said Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC.
Renewable energy is already growing fast-- of the 300 gigawatts of new electricity generation capacity added globally between 2008 and 2009, about 140GW came from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, according to the report.

The investment that will be needed to meet the greenhouse gas emissions targets demanded by scientists is likely to amount to about $5trn in the next decade, rising to $7trn from 2021 to 2030.

Ramon Pichs, co-chair of one of the key IPCC working groups, said: "The report shows that it is not the availability of [renewable] resources but the public policies that will either expand or constrain renewable energy development over the coming decades. Developing countries have an important stake in the future-- this is where most of the 1.4 billion people without access to electricity live yet also where some of the best conditions exist for renewable energy deployment."

Some of the big players in the House making sure our tax dollars keep flowing to Big Oil (with their direct bribes from Big Oil):
Joe Barton (R-TX)- $1,510,280
Steve Pearce (R-NM)- $1,188,092
Don Young (R-AK)- $1,000,913
Mike Conaway (R-TX)- $678,818
Pete Sessions (R-TX)- $677,164
Dan Boren (Blue Dog-OK)- $651,310
Kay Granger (R-TX)- $646,307
John Sullivan (R-OK)- $596,000
Ralph Hall (R-TX)- $549,426
Kevin Brady (R-TX)- $489,947
John Culberson (R-TX)- $456,761
Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)- $448,222
Charles Boustany II (R-LA)- $443,743
John Boehner (R-OH)- $346,700
Eric Cantor (R-VA)- $295,550
Fred Upton (R-MI)- $262,850
Paul Ryan (R-WI)- $207,650

That may help explain why Big Oil's congressional shills like Ryan are opposing government initiatives to boost clean energy development.
Within Ryan's fiscal 2012 budget resolution is a 70 percent cut to clean energy programs, compared to the president's plan, and deep reductions to U.S. EPA funding. By way of comparison, Ryan's goal is to spend about $1 billion a year on "basic science" research for energy, compared to more than $7 billion annually planned by President Obama.

He also supports eliminating renewable energy tax credits. Together, those reductions threaten the expansion of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, according to businesses and advocates in the state, where manufacturing jobs in car plants, paper mills and machine shops continue to disappear. The plan also reduces research on alternative transportation fuels as Wisconsin is seeing gasoline prices steadily rise.

This is precisely what Big Oil paid him for-- and they paid him well. So well, in fact, that in his relatively short time in Congress, he's taken in over double the amount of direct bribes from Big Oil than any other politician in Wisconsin history, including all the state's senators.

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At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Esteev said...

Hey Howie,

What do you mean by a "direct bribe"? Do you mean they actually just give Ryan & Co. checks or campaign contributions?

Also, great post. If anyone reads that Guardian piece and isn't convinced that there are some people running the world purely for cash, they are more than naive--they're stupid.

But, science is the debels work!


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