When Greenpeace's PolluterWatch launched PolluterHarmony last month, it quickly became the #1 online matchmaking site for polluters, industry lobbyists, & politicians. Even though some were a little shy about the attention, Jeff and Lisa's touching story of a polluter lobbyist and his special Senator was so magical, it even led to some serious action inside the Senate office building! Of course, lobbyists for the utilities and coal aren't the only ones having their way with policymakers these days; oil company CEOs are getting lots of love too. So to make sure our Senators and Governors know what they can expect from a relationship with Big Oil, here's the latest Polluterharmony love story:
Rex's Story exposes the truth about the "Drill Baby Drill" zombie chant now being used to push for offshore drilling in a futile quest for independence from foreign oil. Oil execs have chimed in, riding the "drill baby" wave, but they know full well that the American oil habit will never be quenched by domestic supplies. And they'll say so if you tweak them. Take when George W. Bush spoke about the US addiction to imported oil during his 2006 State of the Union address:
"Here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world."
Right away, Big Oil called him out. An Exxon VP characterized getting off foreign oil as "simply not feasible." Lee Raymond, former Exxon CEO was even more blunt a few years earlier when interviewed by the Financial Times:
"I think that the notion in the United States of energy independence, which was first proposed in the Nixon administration was a poor concept 30 years ago and it is a poor concept today" Financial Times, Exxon chief hits at energy debate, September 17, 2004
In reality, oil CEOs want to open our coastlines and public lands to oil drilling for their own profit even though they know it will never ever result in "energy independence" for the United States. Until we get off of OIL, we won't get off of foreign oil. Period.
But Big Oil doesn't care about the facts. They are working the "energy independence" angle at the state level and on Capitol Hill..."Rex" led all Big Oil donors to "Bob's" campaign in Virginia
Governor Bob talks about energy independence and the proposed drilling being "out of sight" 50 miles offshore...Has anyone else noticed that 50 miles offshore of Virginia is also 50 miles off of Maryland and North Carolina and Delaware and about 75 miles off New Jersey...hmm, whose ocean is it to give away?
Some Senators have definitely taken notice. Ten coastal Democratic Senators wrote Sen. Kerry and friends this week stating that climate legislation with giveaways on offshore drilling is not a bet they are willing to take. From the Senators' letter:
"It has come to our attention that some interests are aggressively pursuing an effort to open the nation's coasts and oceans to unfettered access to oil and gas drilling. This is of great concern to us"
They conclude, "As coastal Senators we truly appreciate your efforts to develop comprehensive climate legislation. After all, our states are literally the front lines when it comes to the severe impacts we'll see from sea level rise and stronger storms. But we hope that as you forge legislation, you are mindful that we cannot support legislation that will mitigate one risk only to put our coasts at a greater peril from another source."
Giving Big Oil access to protected places not only won't make America energy independent, it poses grave economic risks and stands to leave us with a spoiled environment and more global warming pollution. Sane climate and energy policy should move us away from oil, not further enable our addiction to this dangerous and dirty fuel with more government subsidies and public lands giveaways.
The Washington Post blog Post Carbon got this reaction from the governor's spokeswoman about the new PolluterHarmony video:
"That video is horribly offensive and way off...the real Bob McDonnell has much better hair."