Oil Change International

Exposing the true costs of fossil fuels

Upton / Koch Committee’s Witnesses for Big Oil

This is a cross post from Brad Johnson and Noreen Nelson at the Center for American Progress.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, now under Republican control, is holding a hearing right now to discuss blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to reduce global warming pollution. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), who has received $9,000 from Koch Industries since 2008, will chair the subcommittee hearing on the Upton-Inhofe “Energy Tax Prevention Act,” hatched at a secret meeting between the bill’s sponsors and polluter lobbyists. The Republican witness list is a cavalcade of the nation’s worst polluters and oil-funded ideologues:

– Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s 2010 campaign was heavily funded by some of Texas’s largest industries, with most coming from people connected to oil and gas interests. Abbott, who has received $40,000 from Koch Industries and $10,000 from ExxonMobil, sued the Obama administration to end an offshore oil-drilling moratorium instituted following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and has taken the EPA to court three times in the past year, accusing climate scientists of “lying, falsification, cover-ups, et cetera.”

– National Black Chamber of Commerce president Harry Alford has received $425,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. The study NBCC commissioned from Charles River Associates to attack the Waxman-Markey climate bill made false assumptions to generate artificially high costs for clean energy action.

Lonnie Carter is president of Santee Cooper, a coal-powered utility that is the largest single mercury polluter in South Carolina. Santee Cooper is also a top consumer of mountaintop removal coal.

Steve Cousins is vice president of Lion Oil, which ranks 27th on the list of top 100 facilities releasing chemicals such as nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and benzene into the environment. Cousins is a climate denier, questioning whether human activity is responsible for global warming.

Peter Glaser of Troutman Sanders LLP works with the Washington Legal Foundation, which has received $325,000 from ExxonMobil and $1,255,000 from Koch Industries since 1997. Glaser has fought on behalf of carbon polluters for years, opposing the Supreme Court’s Massachusetts v. EPA decision.

Fred Harnack represents the U.S. Steel Corporation, which ranks 19th on the 2010 Political Economy Research Institute Toxic 100 Air Polluters list.

– Illinois Farm Bureau president Phillip Nelson has a history of attacking air and water safeguards, while supporting big polluting mega-farms. Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland, headquartered in Decatur, IL, is seventh on the 2010 Political Economy Research Institute Toxic 100 Air Polluters list.

James Pearce is the environmental general manager for FMC Corp., which had to pay the largest civil penalty ever obtained under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act for repeatedly violating the hazardous waste law at its phosphorus production facility in Pocatello, Idaho.

Steve Rowlan is the environmental general manager at Nucor Corp., which is 24th on the 2010 Political Economy Research Institute Toxic 100 Air Polluters list.

Margo Thorning is the vice president and chief economist for the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF). ACCF has received $215,000 from Koch foundations and nearly $1.7 million from ExxonMobil. Even with artificially negative assumptions, ACCF’s study of Waxman-Markey found that 20 million new jobs would be created by 2030.

Self-proclaimed “climate-denier-in-chief ” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), one of the draft legislation sponsors, will also testify at the hearing. Inhofe’s top lifetime contributor is Koch Industries, which has given him $86,650 since 1989.

Comments (1)

  1. I want to encourage one and all to e-mail, write or call their Congressman and ask why America does not have a clean energy independence plan.

    One trillion dollars is a massive amount of money. I cannot fathom that kind of money. $1,000,000,000,000 is exactly how much American tax-payer money has been sent to OPEC and foreign nations over the last 3 years to satisfy our dependence and addiction to oil. If you were unaware; America imports nearly 60% of its oil from foreign sources. Over the last 10 years we have sent $3 trillion to OPEC and foreign oil.

    Republicans and those in the Tea party want to repeal Obama care. Sad! That would hurt young adults and those with pre-existing medical conditions. It is a take from the poor and give to the wealthy – as in OPEC wealthy. Republicans and Tea Parties will never be mentioned in the same breath as Robin Hood. It is hard to imagine repealing services that help American citizens and not repeal the $1trillion America sends to OPEC which includes such nations as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Congress has the power to save the American tax payer $3 trillion dollars, over the next ten years. Congress must find consensus and declare Clean energy independence from OPEC and foreign oil.
    Supreme Court Justice Roberts and has a conservative narrow-minded view of the Constitution. The decision to repeal or not to repeal health care will go a long way in deciding which branch of the Government will end up claiming the (real) power? The unanimous 1942 Wickard v.Filburn Supreme Court decision broadened Congress’ right to regulate interstate commerce and opened the way for sweeping environmental, consumer protection, and workplace safety laws. The fate of the Obama health care law will most certainly be scrutinized under the Wickard v. Filburn 1942 decision. But this is not really about health care. Politics is always about who yields the most power. It is seldom about what is best for the American people. Wickard v. Filburn is a must research project if you want to understand the legalities of Obama care.

    So what in the world does health care have to do with energy independence?

    The Obama health care plan may be repealed but that won’t have any impact on the nearly 60% of the U.S trade deficit that will continue to be consumed by OPEC and foreign oil. $1 trillion of our tax dollars will still be sent to OPEC and foreign oil every 3 years.
    Congress may cut spending and cut taxes but that won’t have any impact on the nearly 60% of the U.S trade deficit that will continue to be consumed by OPEC and foreign oil. $3 trillion will still be sent every 10 years.

    Sarah Palin may become President of the United States but that won’t have any impact on the nearly 60% of the U.S. trade deficit that will continue to be consumed by OPEC and foreign oil.

    America is dependent on OPEC and foreign oil. It is a fact which cannot be denied. Americans consume nearly 21 Million barrels a day. We import about 13 million a day. The numbers are scary. The U.S sent almost $338 billion to OPEC and other foreign countries in 2010 alone. Clean energy independence legislation could cut OPEC in ½ within 5 years. Oil lobbyists understand the value of keeping the status-quo. They have been watching their money at work for nearly 40 years in the U.S. Congress. No Energy Independence plan.
    America can gain Clean Energy Independence. America declared and gained its Independence from Great Britain. This time there is no need for a militia or an army to wage this battle. The pen is truly mightier than the sword. The word Independence is synonymous with American story. It is who we are as a Nation! Independent! It is not the price of a gallon of gas I am talking about. This is only about American Independence. There is no Betty Ford clinic for America’s oil addiction. Take a chance and contact your Congressional representative and ask why America, after nearly 40 years, is still under the thumb of OPEC and foreign oil.

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