Friday, June 27, 2008
Big Oil - The Fourth Branch of Government
When Vice President Dick Cheney declared in 2007 that he was a unique branch of government many of us laughed at his arrogance. But who's laughing now.
If you've been following the discussions about the rising price of oil, (and who isn't these days), it is clear that there is a fourth branch of the US government. Its name is "The Oil Industry" and this week it's become pretty clear that it doesn't matter who's in control in Congress because what the oil industry wants, the oil industry gets.
While Congressional Republicans claim that they were only looking out for their constituencies' with their repeated calls for expanding the oil industry's drilling rights to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as well to the coastlines of Florida and California, Congressional Democrats are asking why the oil industry is not drilling on the 68 million acres ( much of which was previously protected public land) which they are warehousing.
Meanwhile, the US Supreme Court reduced ExxonMobil's punitive damages liability for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska to to $500 million, one tenth of the jury's original award of $5 billion.
And today, oil prices reached a new high of $140/barrel due to a weak US dollar and speculative trading.
Is there anyone who still wonders what was discussed during Vice President Dick Cheney's 2001 Energy Task Force meetings?
The Fourth Branch of Government is in control.
In the following video Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) speaks in favor of the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act aka the "Use It or Lose It" Act (H.R. 6251)
The following is the response by Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)
Later Rep. Rahm Emmanuel (D-ILL) speaks on behalf the "Use It or Lose It" Act (H.R. 6251)
Our Socialized Energy System - August, 2005
Passing the Buck on Energy - April, 2006
EPA Relaxes Air Pollution Rules for the Oil Industry - April, 2007
Why Are We Really Talking About Iran - November 2007
Who Profits From High Energy Costs and The Iraq War - November, 2007