Get Your Blog Up

“This administration is populated by people who’ve spent their careers bashing government. They’re not just small-government conservatives—they’re Grover Norquist, strangle-it-in-the-bathtub conservatives. It’s a cognitive disconnect for them to be able to do something well in an arena that they have so derided and reviled all these years.”

Senator Hillary Clinton

Friday, October 07, 2005

Shame! Shame!

It's nice to see the Democratic leadership stand up on this one, even if the end result will be the same. From the AP:
The House voted to encourage U.S. oil companies to build new refineries Friday in a raucous roll call that Republican leaders extended 40 minutes while they buttonholed their own members to avoid an embarrassing defeat.

Democrats crying ''shame, shame'' -- and some GOP moderates -- called the bill a sop to rich oil companies that would do nothing to ease energy costs including expected soaring heating bills this winter.

The bill would streamline government permits for refineries, open federal lands including closed military bases for future refinery construction and limit the number of gasoline blends refiners have to produce, eliminating many blends now designed to reduce air pollution.

I am stunned everyday that the GOP thinks an industry still reporting record profits needs even more money in their pockets. But that's exactly what this bill does - allow the oil companies to make even more money from the average working man.

Think Progress has the video of Democrats speaking out on the floor.

And some of the effects of the bill from the Times article:
...the bill would stifle legitimate lawsuits against refinery projects and in some cases override state or local objections if a refinery were located on federal land. A community or citizens group would have to pay an oil company's legal costs whether they won or lost a lawsuit challenging a refinery under one provision in the bill.

Limiting the number of gasoline blends refiners would have to produce to six could hinder the ability of states and cities to meet federal air quality requirements, according to state and county clean air officials, who lobbied against the legislation.

Wow. Not only do they get more government money, but they get money to fight law battles no matter what the outcome. And I know that the oil companies probably aren't going to spend lightly in the face of a lawsuit. Especially when it's not their money. In fact, who's going to be able to afford such a suit, other than the oil companies themselves? No one.

So much for Democracy.