The situation: As per Think Progress, a staffer for climate denialist, big-oil loving James Inhoffe actually told the truth – and made a few oil lobbyists uncomfortable. The staffer wrote to “top oil and gas lobbyists” to express the Senator’s displeasure with the industry’s collaboration with the Obama White House on fracking regulations. The email didn’t pull any punches when it came to describing the cozy relationship between Republicans and the oil and gas industries:
Moving forward, we-your partners-would kindly ask for better coordination and communication from you to prevent the Obama administration from pulling similar stunts in the future.
Think Progress also notes that this “partnership” between Big Oil and the GOP is far from one sided. In return for the coordinated “attacks on behalf of industry interests,” GOP congressional types have pulled in a mighty monetary haul – literally millions – over the past few years.
The Missouri angle: Lately Missouri’s GOP Senator Roy Blunt has been highly vocal about rising gas prices – to an almost comic extent. He implicitly and explicitly blamed the Obama administration’s effort to regulate drilling in sensitive areas, subject the Keystone XL pipeline to environmental regulation, and to enact fuel efficiency standards. The underlying theme is, of course, nothing new for Blunt – over the years, he has managed to work it into almost every issue from jobs to taxation. He’s also done his best to insure that the industry keeps pulling down those big taxpayer subsidies – the icing on its highly profitable cake.
The high cost of doing business with Roy Blunt: Blunt has been well rewarded for the services he renders. According to the Center for Responsive Politics (via Think Progress), since 2006 he has pulled in $363,950 in campaign donations from the oil and gas industries. Only nine senators have higher totals for the same period and almost all of them are from big oil producing states or prominent in the GOP leadership (such as Mitch McConnell). It’s a sure thing Blunt isn’t getting the money just because he’s from Missouri. Missouri’s other senator, Democrat Clare McCaskill has received only $55,058 in Big Oil money since 2006. Wonder why Roy gets a bigger handout?
Just keep these facts in mind next time you hear or read statements by Roy Blunt haranguing us about energy policy or ranting about the effect of “job-killing” regulations on the oil and gas industries. Although, come to think about it, intelligent and careful regulation of the oil and gas industries could kill lots of highly rewarded senatorial jobs.