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Harry Reid Knows How to End the Energy Crisis

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Last week's Meet the Bloggers was practically dripping in oil.  It's an issue affecting all of us, from the exorbitant price of gas to the war in Iraq, from the billions in subsidies for oil companies to the catastrophic environmental destruction brought on by Big Oil.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) sat down with Meet the Bloggers host Cenk Uygur and FOX Attacks blogger Jonathan Kim to discuss ways to combat Big Oil and reach energy independence.

Sen. Reid emphasized the need to cut off government subsidies for oil companies and talked about how speculation has led to us paying up the "you-know-what" at the pump.  Uygur and Kim also directed Reid's attention to the Republicans' overt lies about how unsafe offshore drilling is for our environment.  For instance, conservatives, led by John McCain, have been claiming that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused no oil spills, when the truth is that those two spills alone caused 124 spills for a total of 743,700 gallons, according to some estimates.  

In part 2 of this interview, Sen. Reid explained ways to get off Big Oil and invest in alternative energy sources.  He fielded questions from the audience, and then praised bloggers for framing the energy debate and using their influence to combat Big Oil and conservatives alike. 

That cued our featured bloggers: Kevin Grandia (DeSmogBlog), Nico Pitney (Huffington Post), and Matt Stoller (Open Left).  They discussed the oil framing game; who will truly benefit from offshore drilling; the need to nationalize the oil industry; the disastrous consequences of Republicans getting their way; and the biggest Republican flip-floppers on oil.

Oddly enough, it seems that Meet the Bloggers follows the Beetle Juice rule of thumb: say "flip-flopper" three times and McCain's gross inconsistencies suddenly appear. Two days after the show, The Washington Post reported that McCain hauled in over $1.1 million from oil and gas industry executives last month, three-quarters of which came after his June 16 speech calling for an end to the ban on offshore drilling.  So while McCain was out blaming Obama for high prices at the pump, he was reaping the rewards of pandering to the oil industry.  

Of course, the fact that Big Oil is fueling the Straight Talk Express is nothing new.  Even prior to McCain's flip-flop, The Center for Responsive Politics found that the McCain campaign had taken over $1 million from oil and gas industry since 1989.  Furthermore, at least 22 of McCain's top advisers and fundraisers have lobbied for oil companies like Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, Sunoco, and more.  And while the WaPo article certainly dealt a major blow to the McCain campaign, McCain's voting record reveals that he's been giving tax breaks to Big Oil for years. 

For more on McCain's lucrative oil drilling flip-flop, check out http://meetthebloggers.org/Meet the Bloggers airs Fridays live at 1pm ET.