THE BLOG
08/20/2014 02:03 pm ET Updated Oct 20, 2014

Taxpayers Fund Vitter's Billionaire Club Conspiracy Theory, Oil and Gas Funds His Campaigns

If taxpayers are going to foot the bill for the time and effort it takes to come up with a conspiracy theory it should at least be a good one.

If that is the case, then taxpayers should be demanding a refund for the government employee time spent producing Environment and Public Works (EPW) minority chair Republican Senator David Vitter's "Billionaire Club" report.

Over the years, the Republicans have used the Senate's Environment and Public Works (EPW) committee to play politics and forward its anti-environment agenda.

But this latest salvo by Vitter and his EPW staff isn't even that good. At least Vitter's predecessor, Senator James Inhofe was able to formulate a conspiracy (albeit a pretty lame one) for his theory that global warming is the "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

At 72 pages, the EPW minority chair staff report outlines the funds provided to environmental groups from various foundations. Vitter's Billionaire Club report concludes that... gasp... non-profit environmental groups have received millions from wealthy philanthropists.

But that's not where Vitter and his Billionaire Club report goes off the rails. That comes when Vitter and his staff link this money to some kind of grand conspiracy, which he calls, without any other details, the extreme "far-left agenda." When it comes to fear-mongering the Republicans have always found it best to stick to general terms and leave it up to the imagination to produce the actual shape of the monster.

The problem Vitter has with his conspiracy is that he cannot name the motivations behind these wealthy donors giving so much money. With many years in Washington, and a prostitution scandal under his belt, Vitter is likely too cynical to believe that there are people in this world genuinely interested in advancing efforts to clean up our planet and mitigating the damages from industrial pollution that will be wrought on future generations.

In the world of the politicians that have descended down the DC rabbit hole, also known as the beltway, there is little done that is motivated by altruism.

According to official records, Senator Vitter received more money from the oil and gas sector than any other sector in his last election campaign. On top of that, half of all the donations to Vitter's controversial Super PAC have also come from the oil and gas sector.

Like his EPW predecessor James Inhofe, Senator Vitter finds "ridiculous" the scientifically backed conclusion that emissions from the fossil fuel industry are a major driver of the climate change and atmospheric disruption we are seeing worldwide.

Not coincidentally, Vitter is also a vocal supporter of an expanded oil and gas industry, the same people that have benefited financially from years of delay by government to take the issue of climate change seriously.

Big election money from oil and gas, climate change denial and cheerleading for expanded offshore oil exploration. Now that's something the taxpayers should know about! And it is far from a conspiracy theory.