September 12, 2010

Drill here; drill now, pay less. Really??

If I hear one more person complain that renewable energy is being highly subsidized, I will spit oil! The truth is that global subsidies for fossil fuels (gasp) is 12 times higher than they are for renewables. As Bloomberg reports, that's $557 billion (with a capital B) vs. $45 billion.

Speaking of money:
Fall elections are right around the corner. More contributions than I can fathom have been paid by fossil fuel industries over the last decade to buy access and influence in Congress. There's a nifty new website, http://www.dirtyenergymoney.com/, that offers an interactive tool that tracks the flow of oil, gas, and coal money in U.S. Congress--using data provided by the Federal Election Commission and the Center for Responsive Politics.

Check it out, but the folks on the top of their list includes:
  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) -- recipient of $1.86 million since 1999
  • Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) -- recipient of $1.7 million
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) -- recipient of $1.15 million
  • Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) -- recipient of $1.12 million
  • Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) -- recipient of $1.09 million
  • Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) -- recipient of $1 million)
One oil giant, Koch Industries, has given $4.38 million to politicians since 1999, especially climate-change deniers.

American Solutions for Winning the Future, an innocuous sounding group if I ever heard one, might demand a second look as well. They are the political action group/PAC behind "Drill here; drill now; pay less" and have been funding their chairman, Newt Gingrich, in his latest fosssil-fuel promoting activities. Their big funders include:  

  • Devon Energy, a huge oil and gas outfit in Oklahoma -- donated $250,000
  • Arch Coal of St. Louis -- donated $100,000
  • Plains Exploration and Production Co., a Houston-based oil and gas firm -- donated $100,000
  • Michael Morris, CEO of American Electric Power, based in Ohio -- donated $100,000
AND (in case you're still interested) two Texas-based oil companies, Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp.) have kicked in almost 75 percent of the money behind California's Proposition 23, which would repeal the state's landmark law to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Hmmm.