My previous discussions on the oil industry brought praise and scorn. Points from either side were well worth rumination over and valid in their own right. The oil industry was portrayed as both a capitalistic hero worthy of our praise and a mischievous devil tearing down the American Way. Common to both sides was the government’s role in this possible mess. Unarguably this truth is self-evident. Politicians were portrayed as a group of thugs or at best puppets of sinister group.
Who best may be this political version of the “Da Vinci Code” than the oil Lobby? The quest here is not to find were Mary Magdalene rests, but to find a sustainable U.S. energy policy. For this reason, this discussion, the first of many, will look in this direction.
To start the dialog, the following article by Jessica Durando, USA TODAY, August 25, 2010, is printed in its entirety. (http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/08/climate-change-environment-groups).
Oil lobby's spending blows away environmental groups
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., right, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., talk about a failed energy bill.
The oil and gas industry outspent environmentalists nearly eight-fold last year in federal lobbying on climate change legislation, which has failed to pass Congress, a recent report shows.
Environmental groups spent a record $22.4 million lobbying for a bill backed by President Obama to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan, non-profit research group that tracks money in U.S. politics. The amount was double their lobbying expenditure from 2000 to 2008.
Still, it paled in comparison to the $175 million spent by the oil and gas industry, which opposed the pollution caps that would be required in a bill by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass. and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. ExxonMobil alone, spent $27.4 million.
"In other words, Goliath whipped David," the center's Evan Mackinder wrote. The bill has languished in the Senate. Despite industry opposition, similar legislation passed the House of Representatives last year.
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