Despite the almost unthinkable damage caused by the gulf oil spill, the GOP really, really wants to stick up for their big oil pals. Why, after all, kill a cash cow – witness the hefty contributions from the energy sector to those who voted against climate change legislation in the House. To date, the GOP line has been subtle – if you overlook Mississippi governor Haley Barbour’s almost comical reluctance to even admit that there is a problem. Now, however, a GOP party line, another variation on drill, baby, drill, is beginning to emerge, one that will allow these patriots to stand up for their oil buddies while putting it to the Democrats in the best let-the-country-be-dammed GOP style.
Just today Think Progress reports that Louisiana’s David Vitter, who has profited very handsomely from his service to Big Oil, has gone on the attack on behalf of
British Petroleum (PB) the industry, declaring that the current drilling hiatus “will cost us more jobs and economic devastation than the oil spill itself.” Not to be outdone, Missouri’s Roy Blunt, who has also enjoyed the beneficence of Big Oil, seems to be getting ready to wade out into the same oily waters, as indicated by his smug tweet earlier today:
WSJ reports Obama “facing rising anger on the Gulf Coast over the loss of jobs & income” from his drilling moratorium. http://bit.ly/9KOSFa
Nobody should be surprised that those in the gulf who depend on the oil industry for their livelihood are worried abut what stricter controls will mean. This concern is part-and-parcel of the entire ugly predicament. It is, nevertheless, still a fact that, as President Obama put it in the WSF article Blunt cites above, that the potential and actual environmental and economic harm caused by the unregulated monstrosity that the oil industry became under the Bush regime has to be contained:
What is clear is that the economic impact of this disaster is going to be substantial and it is going to be ongoing …
A repeat of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill would have grave economic consequences for regional commerce and do further damage to the environment
Is it too much to hope that, just once, when this country is faced with a disaster, that politicians like Blunt could put aside their money-grubbing gamesmanship and and try to make common cause with the folks in government who are adult enough to take on the heavy lifting? Why do we have to put up with smirking simpletons like Blunt – who doesn’t seem to be able to restrain his glee that there might be a way to twist the facts so that the suffering of millions in the gulf could mean a political setback for the rival team, not to mention providing a way to grease up the ol’ money-machine?
UPDATE: Another landlocked Republican comes out for more deep-water drilling – after pocketing big bunches of dirty oil money.
Photo of New Orleand BP protest from Infrogmation of New Orleans on Wikimedia Commons.