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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 11th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Today’s Feguson caricature in The Financial Times shows Uncle Sam holding a gas pump line pistol-fashion to his head – in a suicide position.
PROGRESSIVE VOICES  РVIEWPOINTS WORTH READING:
Oil industry power was the cause of the explosion and spill and will cause those that will no doubt occur in the future. Such power is also why Obama and his successors will find it next to impossible to shift the nation from its fatal dependence on foreign oil and, in the long run, to convert to alternative energy.
If you thought one of the biggest oil spills in history would automatically propel strong legislation to cap carbon emissions and avert a climate crisis, think again.

Democratic Senate leaders beat back a conservative attempt to kneecap the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, but not without six Dems defecting. Only 53 Senators backed the EPA, and even some of those did so reluctantly.

And I say “only 53,” even though that’s a majority, because any climate bill will need 60 votes, period. The Senate voted overwhelmingly last year to prevent climate legislation from being eligible for a simple majority vote under Senate budget rules.

That level of support for regulating carbon pollution is pretty much the same before the Gulf gusher as after. Certainly no Senator announced a change in position in the aftermath of the disaster.

Why? Because the complex political dynamics — which make passing transformational energy legislation extremely challenging and requiring frustrating compromises — remain the same.

18 Democratic Senators hail from the top coal-producing states. Key right-leaning Senators come from oil producing states (Louisiana) or wanna-be offshore oil producing states (Virginia). Still more come from energy-intensive manufacturing states or agribusiness states.

And you still need to find a few Republicans to get to 60, the path to which according to the utterly maddening Sen. Lindsey Graham, lies in compromises for more nuclear power and, as you may have heard, offshore drilling. Such a deal has had tacit support from major environmental groups but is now harder to seal in the wake of the BP blowout.

OK, so we see that in the end the problems are with the US voters who think naturally of life in the moment rather then life in the future – their children life and nature’s life.

So, if you cannot really hit at US corporations – it starts looking as an imperative that it must be the other – or somehow a semi-other that transgressed.

In no way am I going to try to defend BP, but then how can I blame them only for having taken advantage of lack-of-law in matters of search for oil in the US, as in most of the rest of the world as well?

The US President stands there and fires brim-stones at BP as if it were not clear that hours later the Prime Minister of the UK will have to stand up and try to defend his people. With all that talk of globalization and multi-Nationals – Exxon is still a US company and BP is a British Company, and as I told John Hofmeister, the former CEO of the Dutch-British Company Shell Oil, the only thing I could agree with him is that BP and Shell get the short end of the Administration’s stick is because they are in the image of the people foreign companies.¬† Oh yes, it is BP that did the present mess, but it is Washington that allowed them to do it and Prime Minster Cameron will claim now that this is not fair.

I have no intent here to go beyond saying that The Financial Times today has several articles pointing out this British reation, and we predict that this problem – the problem of the fraying of the US-British high level of alignment in world affairs, may yet become a main collateral damage to the now gone “Deepwater Horizon.”

BILL BOYARSKY
Big Oil Is Still Boss
truthdig.com – A lot of pundits want President Barack Obama to turn terrible tempered in his handling of the Gulf of Mexico disaster. These critics ignore the real issue – the death grip the oil industry has on Washington and the state capitals of oil-producing states. Oil industry power was the cause of the explosion and spill and will cause those that will no doubt occur in the future. Such power is also why Obama and his successors will find it next to impossible to shift the nation from its fatal dependence on foreign oil and, in the long run, to convert to alternative energy.
BILL SCHER
Climate Vote Shows Gulf Gusher Changed Nothing In Senate
If you thought one of the biggest oil spills in history would automatically propel strong legislation to cap carbon emissions and avert a climate crisis, think again.
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