Monday, May 03, 2010


How politicians are bought by big oil

by Larry Geller

This may be the time to re-run the cartoon originally posted on April 3.

(copyright Adam Zyglius – used with permission)

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana remains a big supporter of offshore oil drilling, despite the blowout that threatens her state. Odd? Not when her ties to the oil industry are examined. Landrieu is an example of what we can expect now that corporate campaign contributions can gush as freely as an underwater oil spill.

This article starts by describing her appearance on Sunday, on CBS’s Face the Nation:

Host Bob Schieffer might have asked Senator Landrieu whether her position had anything to do with the hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions she receives annually from the oil industry.

If a Face the Nation producer had done a Google search, reports would be found such as  on SourceWatch: “Mary Landrieu has received $252,950 in oil contributions during the 110th Congress. $163,000 of those were from industry PACS. In total, Landrieu has accepted $574,000 from oil companies from 2000 to 2008, which makes her one of the highest recipients {in Congress] of oil money." [Counterpunch, Oil Spin, 5/3/2010]

Can we count on our legislators to protect jobs and the environment? After all, we do elect them. But that’s like choosing actors to read someone else’s lines.

Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, issued a statement over the weekend saying that Obama is “correct” in saying BP “is responsible for this spill. But the government bears responsibility, too, as it failed to protect U.S. waters and the people who depend on them. Offshore oil drilling is inherently dirty and dangerous. In order to fulfill its responsibility to protect its citizens and territory, the government must establish a permanent moratorium on offshore drilling.”

With the oil industry spending many millions of dollars a year on lobbying and political contributions—see the Center for Public Integrity’s “Big Oil Protects Its Interests” -- can this happen?

Check out Oil Spin.


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