Tuesday, April 12, 2011

'Won't Take Yes for an Answer'

In an increasingly common display of partisan douchebaggery, U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah is actually opposing the diversification of our domestic energy production on public lands. Apparently, the rotund, bought-and-paid congressman is a live-in-the-now kind of cat–to hell with the future of hunting and fishing (and why not throw in breathing clean air and drinking clean water while we're at it). He's not going to live long enough to deal with his own self-centered mistakes.

He's an oil and gas stooge. A one-trick pony. No matter how much sense it makes to invest in research and development of clean, renewable energy resources, this guy simply won't bend, instead insisting that, before we consider new long-term sources of energy in this country that might allow us to keep our public lands healthy and intact for future generations, we bleed every acre of public land dry of fossil fuels. Oh, and did I mention that he's the chairman of a public lands subcommittee in Congress? Friggin' awesome.

You try and figure it out. I'm stumped.

This is a dude who simply works for industry, and he's doing it on our nickel. Here's proof, as mentioned in a recent Salt Lake Tribune editorial:

  • Presently, the United States has more producing oil wells than at any time since 2002. We are producing about a fourth of our own oil consumption (about 5 million barrels of day of our 18 million barrels-a-day habit). Keep in mind this is after the Deepwater Horizon disaster last summer that is, if you believe Bishop and his GOP cronies, hampering domestic production.
  • We've reduced dependence on foreign oil by 25 percent by ramping up domestic production, but, no matter how many holes we'll drill, we'll never be able to match our present oil consumption. The reason? Uh, we just don't have the oil.
  • We've leased almost 40 million acres of public lands for oil and gas development. We've drilled less that half of it. 
  • President Obama, in the midst of a budget crisis, devoted significant attention to this issue last week when he talked of the need to diversify our domestic energy production while still using oil, gas and "clean" coal to bridge the gap to the next generation of fuels.
He won't support drilling for oil because ... he supports
more drilling for oil. 
All this, and Bishop still isn't satisfied. We must sell more oil and gas leases, he says (or, if you're like me, you see the truth: "We must build inventory, so my asshole buddies in the industry will have something do when we finally dump this Muslim, foreign-born, Kenyan spy the silly Democrats elected in 2008"). We must drill our way out of this problem (Sarah Palin must be whispering in his ear–amazing how much influence the MILF factor has, isn't it?). We must continue to enable the industry to record billions in annual profits, by God.

What a tool. I would wager that, had George W. Bush delivered the message that expanding domestic energy production to include solar, wind, geothermal and nuclear energy, Bishop would have noted the wisdom of using fossil fuels as a bridge to the future (and the continued stream of industry money into his campaigns) and wholeheartedly supported it.

But, since the plan comes from the other side of the aisle, he's busy getting all red-faced and indignant. As the Trib said, Bishop won't take 'yes' for an answer.

And here's the irony. He's opposing a bill that would create jobs at no cost to the taxpayer and without borrowing money from foreign governments simply because it requires some environmental accountability from the industry as it seeks to drill–yes, Rob, drill!–for oil and gas, both onshore and off. We've seen what can happen without proper oversight, and not just last summer. We've seen it right here in the West, where hydraulic fracturing chemicals are turning up in domestic water wells; where drilling mud spills and then spends the winter frozen in a waterfall; where surface water is tainted; where air quality in western Wyoming is worse than it is in downtown Los Angeles; where mule deer herds simply vanish for lack of winter range. Nah. We don't need oversight. We don't need accountability. Benzene is like sea salt–it's great on steak.

Oh, and here's some more irony. By opposing the bill, as the Trib points out, Bishop is trying to micromanage the Department of Interior. He's inserting more government into the equation, not less. He's demanding that Congress have some management authority on land managed by a executive branch secretary. If that doesn't raise the hackles of every sportsman who understands that quality fishing and hunting depends on having places to fish and hunt left intact, what will?

Wake up, Utah. This creep is mortgaging our future to subsidize his cushy job on The Hill. Need proof? His top campaign contributors? Lobbyists. No. 2? Oil and gas