Sunday, July 06, 2008

Ben Lieberman is also earning his wingnut welfare

Ben Lieberman, Esq., Senior Policy Analyst at The Heritage Foundation's Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, got ink in today's Anniston Star with his Drilling in the U.S.? Yes, it's time to drill. He also placed the same piece here and here. Back in early May I'd posted on Heritage's Dan Lips earning his Wingnut Welfare on "education reform." Dashing Dan had a background in Politics and Public Relations. Big Ben is an attorney and CPA so he's equally qualified to opine on energy as Dan is in education.

This "specialist in energy and environmental issues" who "opposes unnecessary energy regulation and government mandates while supporting increased access to domestic energy supplies" was formerly "associate counsel and director of air quality policy at The Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington." That The Heritage Institute expects Ben and his ilk to shill their stuff surprises me not yet I do wish Progressives had as equally well-funded and connected effort to match their work.

Citing " weak excuses" for the failure to drill our way to energy nirvana, Ben does a decent job at tackling various concerns among the Godless, Tree Hugger, Lefty ... set. Ben responds to ideas that "the extra energy would be a drop in the bucket" by claiming "the energy potential is substantial." Actually not Ben yet "new exploration could at least help offset that decline in supply from existing wells." Worries that "environmental risks are too great" are dismissed with "new production would be subject to the strictest environmental and safety standards, something that can't be said of oil imports." Ben's record on environmental standards and the like isn't such that I'd think he'd think that much about strict standards. Those that suggest "big oil is deliberately sitting on potential gushers to boost prices" are told "oil exploration and development is under way" yet it's slow "because of the ... permitting process and other regulatory requirements". Ben sees another chance to go after regulation and he's unable to resist. He claims "some market analysts believe that if America signaled its seriousness about expanding domestic supplies by opening new areas, prices would start dropping before the extra oil hit the market". The "send a message" theme appears to be a straight GOP talking point as Michigan Representative Fred Upton and Tennessee's Jimmy Duncan (damn those elitists in Congress) are using pretty much the same language.

I'd be willing to at least listen to and then engage Big Ben if he weren't on the take from the fat cats and earning his wingnut welfare. The worries he faces off against are likely not motivated by money. So they aren't worth a damn are they Ben? John Gunn

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