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Posts Tagged ‘Big Oil’

Politico 44

By GLENN THRUSH|

3/23/12 9:39 AM EDT

Mitt Romney has been slamming President Obama over the spike in gas prices, and will (presumably) deliver a Keystone-themed blistering attack on the administration this morning at a Louisiana oil and gas exploration company, QEP Resources.

Romney has been touting his understanding of the industry on the trail, but his ties to Big Oil – and a handful of wealthy investors who have made cash on the rise in oil prices — could come back to bite him. And it will certainly, I am told, be a big part of the Obama team’s counterattack, hitting Romney on his connections with rich guys they consider to be gas-spike profiteers.

I reached out to a Democratic source, who passed along a list of potential problems. Two jumped out. The first was none other Romney’s top energy adviser, Harold Hamm, who promised to provide “a stark alternative to President Obama’s goal of driving prices higher” in a statement published in the Tulsa World around the time of his appointment.

But in 2008, when gas was hitting $4/a gallon, Forbes put the self-made billionaire on its list of “petro princes” whose “fortunes… are driven higher every time you feel pain at the pump.”

A year later, however, when the global recession pushed per-barrel prices down about 70 percent, Hamm was touting a different line, and urged state and federal authorities to blame Canada, and probe whether Canadian producers were glutting the market – which was good for consumers but poison for his business.

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Paul Ryan with wife Janna and family

Paul Ryan And His Family To Benefit From The $45 billion In Subsidies For Big Oil In His Budget

Think Progress

By Joe Romm on Jun 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Paul Ryan’s budget, which means austerity for most Americans, turns out to mean prosperity for Ryan and his family.

That budget, which the GOP-led House adopted as its blueprint, slashes funding for everyone from seniors to the disabled to students while preserving $45 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for Big Oil over the next 10 years, as has been widely reported.

But what we have only just learned from Ryan’s financial disclosure forms for Congress (here) that were made public this week is “he and his wife, Janna, own stakes in four family companies that lease land in Texas and Oklahoma to the very energy companies that benefit from the tax subsidies in Ryan’s budget plan,” as The Daily Beast reported today.

Ryan’s father-in-law, Daniel Little, who runs the companies, told Newsweek and The Daily Beast that the family companies are currently leasing the land for mining and drilling to energy giants such as Chesapeake Energy, Devon, and XTO Energy, a recently acquired subsidiary of ExxonMobil.

These energy giants stand to profit directly from the $45 billion in subsidies and tax breaks.  How cozy!

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The president wrapped up his address Tuesday night by asking Americans to pray for the victims — both human and environmental — of the BP oil spill. I thought it was a strange way to end his first Oval Office address during a national emergency insofar as praying makes the situation appear too big for conventional solutions. As though all that remains between us and a sea of oil is the Hail Mary.

This morning it occurred to me that this was the only thing he could really ask Americans to do.

Why? Simply stated, it doesn’t require any effort to silently invoke spirituality while stopped at a traffic signal or while chewing a gluttonous mouthful of Double Down. Actually, I take back that second part. I can’t imagine doing anything other than suffering a massive infarction while eating a Double Down.

Instead of prayer, the president could have asked us all to make sacrifices towards the goal of weaning ourselves off of fossil fuels. Maybe he should have asked for sacrifice. It probably wouldn’t have hurt. But it would have been mostly ignored.

Americans simply don’t do “national sacrifice” anymore. During World War II, Americans were asked to ration everything from sugar to oil to cheese — even shoes. Those days are long gone. Today, we’re asked to go to Disneyland or the beach. Or we’re asked to pray. (It’s difficult to imagine the modern right-wing, for example, accepting the rationing of anything at the behest of the current president when most of them refuse to fill out a U.S. Census form. More on that presently.)

The BP oil spill has been a daily reminder of our toxic relationship with decomposed dinosaurs. On just about every blog and every cable news show, we’ve watched in shock-horror as 75,000,000 gallons of oil spew from the top of the Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer. We see it. We cringe. Some of us shout, “Why, oh, why?!” Others curse Tony Hayward and BP. Maybe some of us curse President Obama or former President Bush. A clear majority of Americans are pissed off, and they’re taking it out on everyone except themselves: the ones actually buying the oil.

Once we’re exhausted with blaming and yelling, we climb into our oversized cars, crank up the air conditioner, drive to Burger King and order a ammonia-washed beef sandwich the size of a baby — while mindlessly idling at the drive-thru.

As the president pointed out last night, scientists, experts and politicians alike have been urging us to make the transition to clean energy and away from fossil fuels. In the last ten years alone, we’ve endured the largest terrorist attack on our soil and subsequently fought two wars, all prompted by American intrusions into the Middle East to satisfy our collective petro fix.

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