Thursday, June 17, 2010

Shakedown Your Congressman!

I lack the words to express my frustration at the continued environmental devastation caused by the oil gushing into the Gulf, destroying peoples' lives, killing animals, and devastating the already compromised wetlands that are essential New Orleans' capacity to withstand hurricanes.

So outrage is not even vaguely sufficient to articulate my response to hearing Texas Representative Barton apologize to BP CEO Hayward today during the Congressional hearing on the spill and to lambaste the Obama administration for compelling BP to create a $20B fund to compensate the people and governments impacted by the gusher:

"It is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case a $20 billion shakedown."

This has received a great deal of press today, almost exclusively critical, but it bears mentioning that this is not an isolated Republican perspective but, in fact, the Republican Study Committee, a group of over 100 Conservative Republican congressmen, issued a similar statement yesterday calling the BP fund a "Chicago Style Political Shakedown."

We are drowning in oil along the Gulf and maniac Conservatives remain so committed to their pro-corporate, liberterian ideology that they take BP's side against the people who will see some benefit, however inadequate, from this fund.

As cynical as I am, I was surprised to see Gulf Coast politicians on the list of Republican Study Committee members. Call them or email them and register your disgust:

Steve Scalise (LA-01)
Connie Mack (FL-14)
Jeff Miller (FL-01)


  1. Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida has rightly called on Rep. Barton to resign his Committee Chairmanship as a consequence of his ridiculous statements today. But what about the statement yesterday from the RSC, of which he is a member?

  2. I think Scalise would probably second Miller. The man was on fire at that Congressional hearing featuring Hayward today....then again, if Scalise wants to be relected, I doubt he'll yell too much.