I sure wish there was a prettier way for Washington to promote clean energy
There’s a reason why so many Nebraskans oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.
Many Louisianans remain sore over a recent column suggesting, half in jest, that the state become a U.S. protectorate. I was accusing state officials, and by extension the electorate, of groveling before oil money — at the cost of despoiling their natural paradise.
But now we read of a churchwoman, Patty Whitney of Terrebonne Parish, talking back at the despotism of oil. So deep is the intimidation that friends call her brave for questioning the oil culture at public forums.
Whitney said that one of her brothers argued (as have countless readers), “America needs oil.”
And she responds:
Then let them drill. Let them drill in Yellowstone Park, in the Grand Canyon, in Puget Sound, off Martha’s Vineyard. Let them mess up their own places instead of just drilling in my beautiful Louisiana.
Boy, does she ever have it right.
And a note to all my Pelican State correspondents who take credit for heating my house in winter: I’d rather have their shrimp than their oil.
While cap-and-trade is tangled in a political brawl, there’s one excellent piece of energy legislation that most people agree on — the bi-partisan bill to promote electric cars. Let’s pass it fast:
My plans were to spend this Saturday morning drinking coffee and staring at the birdbath. But my column, MAKE LOUISIANA A U.S. PROTECTORATE, has provoked some alligator reactions. Let me address the more relevant ones.
Several of my correspondents complain that I named only Republican politicians in my discussion of what’s wrong with Louisiana’s political class, whereas Democrats have been as bad, if not worse.
Point granted. It was not my intention to make this discussion partisan. It happened that the two examples are Republicans. I could have included Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who is also defends the timber industry’s cutting of trees that hold the wetlands in place. But unlike Republican Sen. David Vitter, she wasn’t in a position in 2005 to castrate the Army Corps of Engineers’s powers to regulate these activities.
What makes the Republicans less charming is their baloney spiel about cutting down the size of the federal government combined with their constant howling for more federal money. And, of course, they never want to pay for anything with taxes.
However, I have been a resident of Rhode Island for the last two decades. Rhode Island is also famously corrupt and for that has been called the Louisiana of the North. Our legislature is overwhelmingly Democratic and does appalling things on a weekly basis. One thing the politicians don’t do, however, is mess with the environment. The people would not stand for it.
As a sucker for the environment, I would be happy to see my tax dollars spent on fixing up the ravaged Gulf coast. But ,no, I don’t care to spend billions restoring the wetlands as the locals continue destroying them for a quick buck or, in the case of Jindal and his berms, to make a show of doing something.
That shouldn’t be a very controversial position.
Meanwhile, let me offer my sincere condolences to the people of the Gulf.
But there’s no hypocrisy in the man about how he makes his living. Barton raises prodigious sums from the oil and gas industry — $265,000 in the 2008 election cycle and another $177,000 in this one, so far. When it comes to his benefactors, he has a heart of gold.
With great emotion, Barton apologized to BP, accusing the Obama administration of shaking down the company to compensate victims of the Gulf oil disaster. Hey, it’s his job to shake down oil companies.
For shining a light on this arrangement in a politically unhelpful way, Barton got beat up by fellow Republicans. Party leaders demanded that he retract his statement, or else. And so he apologized for his apology to BP.
To these expressions of regret I’d like to add my own apology — to Joe Barton. Barton is being persecuted for honesty. He defended the nature of his business without putting on pumps, pearls and a pillbox hat. Thank you, congressman.
POSTSCRIPT: We note that the 7th annual Joe Barton Family Fishing Trip fundraiser is still scheduled for October. Wonder where they’ll go for fish. Greenland, I suspect.
Why are both the left and right criticizing Obama for not instantly fixing the BP oil disaster? My new column delves into that question:
That inspired a column arguing that there are values not measured in dollars. And understanding that some people simply can’t think that way, I made a case for values measured in dollars that are not tied to oil. Here is Why Offshore Drilling is a Terrible Idea.