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She’s got her mind on her (oil) money

09/30/2010

Gulf Coast politicians dripping in oil contributions are standing in the way of needed reform and new legistlation that could prevent another devastating accident from hitting their region.

Case in point

Yesterday, in testimony before the Presidential Oil Spill Commission, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La) boldly claimed that the moratorium on offshore drilling is hurting the region more than the oil spill.  Really!? Though she failed to provide any supporting evidence for this outland(rieu)ish claim, I think most people would agree that from an ecological and economic perspective, the affects of the oil spill  – whose long term impacts are yet unkown – far outweight any damage resulting from the moratortium.

In fact, the Department of Commerce report on the impacts of the moratorium, says that the estimated job losses from the drilling ban are lower than previously thought because many deepwater drillers have not fired many of their employees, the report says. In total, the moratorium will result in the temporary loss of 8,000 to 12,000 jobs in the Gulf.  The report also says that there will be comparatively small reductions in oil production because of the moratorium.

So what would possess Senator Landrieu to so blatantly put the interest of big oil before the ecology and residents of her state?  Maybe its because since 1999, she has recieved $976,173 from oil (68%) and coal (32%) corporations. 

In the last two campaign cycles, Landrieu was among the ten top recipients of BP campaign contributions.  No surprise then that Landrieu balked at a provision that would eliminate the cap on liability for oil spills (retroactive to April 20, 2010). The oil industy is certainly getting what it paid for, but in the wake of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, Gulf Coast residents deserve better than another oil industry wolf dressed in senate clothing.

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