Thanks to PolluterHarmony, oil company CEOs are getting lots of love too

by Kert Davies

March 25, 2010

When we launched PolluterHarmony last month, it quickly became the #1 online matchmaking site for polluters, industry lobbyists, and 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 coal industry aren’t the only ones getting their way with policymakers these days; oil company CEOs are getting lots of love too. So to make sure our Senators know what they can expect from a relationship with Big Oil, here’s the latest Polluterharmony success story:

Rex’s Story exposes the truth about the Drill Baby Drill mantra to open up drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf and other public lands to oil companies in the futile quest for oil independence. Oil execs know that America will always rely on oil from foreign countries. Take when George W. Bush spoke about the US addiction to imported oil during his 2006 State of the Union address. Immediately, Big Oil kicked him in the shins for having the nerve to talk about oil that way. An Exxon exec characterized getting off foreign oil as "simply not feasible."

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 result in "energy independence" for the United States. Until we get off of oil, we won’t get off of ‘foriegn oil’. Period.

But the oil companies are working their magic at the state level and on Capitol Hill… "Rex" led all Big Oil donors to "Bob’s" campaign in Virginia. Governor Bob talks about 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.

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. Climate and clean energy policy should move us away from oil, not further our addiction to this dangerous and dirty fuel.

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