Just a few days ago we had Senate GOP blocks windfall taxes on Big Oil revealing how the GOP operates with their filibuster proof numbers. Please note this portion of the reporting:
You're a Republican aren't you Mike? You might do the right thing on some oil subsidy votes at times but your party seldom does. According to the WaPo, "Mike Rogers has voted with a majority of his Republican colleagues 92.2% of the time during the current Congress." Your buddy Bu$h surely favors your approach to ANWR, assuming he can't wave a magic wand to solve our energy problems.
Shortly after the oil tax vote, Republicans blocked a second proposal that would extend tax breaks that have either expired or are scheduled to end this year for wind, solar and other alternative energy development, and for the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. Again Democrats couldn't get the 60 votes to overcome a GOP filibuster. ...
In addition to the proposed windfall profits tax, the Democrats' bill also would have rescinded tax breaks that are expected to save the oil companies $17 billion over the next 10 years. The money would have been used to provide tax incentives for producers of wind, solar and other alternative energy sources as well as for energy conservation.
While Representative Rogers blames "the environmental lobby" for preventing the drill, drill, and drill some more approach favored by the GOP, I'd doubt the damned tree huggers have the power that Big Oil does.
I also note that Congressman Rogers uses the "potential oil reserves of 10.5 billion barrels" figure for ANWR. Actually, a 1998 USGS survey provided a range of "between 4.3 and 11.8 billion barrels". Back in 2004, MSNBC/AP reported Study: ANWR oil would have little impact: Heavy reliance on foreign imports would continue, agency finds. That the Bu$hCo Energy Department let this study see the light of day amazed me and to read a quote from the then Chairman of the House's Resources Committee Richard Pombo certainly gave me a little thrill. That I helped send Dirty Dick Pombo back to the ranch, or merely to working more directly for Big Oil/Timber/Mining ... surely pleases me. For instance, could this have occurred with Pombo in power?
Mike also manages to pull a Cheney with the following:
China has set up shop off the coast of Florida and is using oil our country could readily use instead.Does Mike not have a researcher? Does he not read the papers? Perhaps the reference to "... you may have seen China has signed an agreement with Cuba to drill for this oil" that precedes his broad quote saves him some ridicule yet he's cutting it close. China isn't using oil if they've just started looking and/or it is onshore. So Mike, how is this oil our country can use? It seems obvious the GOP talking points made it to the folks down the food chain but Mike seems sharp enough to not have had another stumble, especially after his Super Dog fiasco. Then again, Mike also fell for the "Building a North American Community" foolishness yet hardly to the degree of Alabama State Senator Rusty Glover.
However, Mike is just plain wrong when he writes
We are all environmentalists and all want clear air, land and water. With the strong environmental laws already on the books ...Huh? I've blogged on the Bu$hCo EPA rather often yet apparently Mike doesn't follow my blog. George Gray, the EPA's assistant administrator for research and development, has been scolded, as has EPA Chief Stephen L. Johnson. Hell, the Supremes, not counting The Fantastic Four that John McSame would expand if elected, even scolded Bu$hCo over not applying the Clean Air Act to carbon dioxide and other emissions.
Bu$hCo has radically rolled back enforcement of our allegedly strong environmental laws Mike! Less punishment has been a given! This WaPo piece from 2007 is titled Bush's EPA Is Pursuing Fewer Polluters: Probes and Prosecutions Have Declined Sharply for example. Again, do you read the newspapers Mike? Dubyah admits he doesn't yet I'm hoping you and yours might. So how can you back up these claims?
Given how the GOP has handled environmental concerns in the 2004 elections is this any surprise? Mike Rogers' Republican Party has long engaged in a "War on Science" and yet he claims we are all environmentalists? I'll accept that a few from the GOP are willing to engage in looking for solutions yet they are rather rare and often silenced via party discipline and massaging of their media.
With us looking North to Alaska, I'll admit Mike Rogers is at least no Polar Bear Hippie! I wonder if he has the potential to one day become a Senator Southern Company? Not if Josh Segall can retire him in this cycle!
Finally, Liquidation of the Commons: There has not been such a wholesale giveaway of America’s public assets since McKinley was president in the late 1800s from Adam Werbach in In these Times might be a fine piece to close with. I think Mike has it backwards as to how our environment can help the economy. And even if he doesn't, I surely find it bothersome that dreadful policies, admittedly due in part by some in both parties, even if primarily done via the GOP, get us into a position where the "Commons" is expected to take one for the team. John Gunn