Big Coal Launches Assault On EPA

By scott parkin

untitled photo by Jane DoeThe sharks smell the blood in the water.

The opposition is emboldened.

Whatever are we to do?

After the “shellacking” that the Dems took at the hands of the teabaggers (love that double entendre), it’s obvious that the corporations, the front groups and the right wing climate skeptics taking over Congress are getting all George Patton on us and mounting a full frontal assault on the environment.

And it’s not going to be pretty.  As if the Upper Big Branch mine disaster and BP Oil Spill weren’t bad enough. Now, the business community is wanting payback for two years of regulation at the hands of Obama’s EPA. (BTW, when do we get payback for centuries of pollution, climate change and human rights abuses?)

Industry front groups such as the Federation for American Coal, Energy, and Security (FACES) are telling the story of “How Many Appalachian Jobs will the EPA Destroy?”  They’ve launched aggressive ad and online campaigns targeting the Environmental Protection Agency.

Look at their propaganda strategy. They are on the Facebook with almost 50,000 very opinionated friends. Their website now includes a fancy video and dramatic counter showing how many jobs the EPA has destroyed in Appalachia.  And finally they have a paid advertising campaign in Washington D.C. targeting the EPA (see the pic above.)

Uh, yeah.  So these groups liberated by Citizens United and funded by the nastiest industries on the planet after the “shellacking” now feel like they have carte blanche to go after the regulators.

And they aren’t alone.  Our new teabagger Congress is only too happy to join in and they are already drunk with power and stupidity.

Here’s some stats about the new Congress from Sue Sturgis at the Institute of Southern Studies:

  • 50 percent of the newly elected House Republicans are climate deniers.
  • 86 percent are opposed to any climate legislation that increases government revenue, such as cap & trade bills or a carbon tax. (Full Disclosure: I’m not totally sure how I feel about things like cap & trade, but don’t want the agenda dictated by Big Oil and Big Coal.)
  • Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s top campaign contributor has been polluter Dominion Resources.
  • The four lawmakers vying to head the key House Energy and Commerce Committee currently led by Rep. Henry Waxman are all climate deniers– Fred Upton (R-Mich.), John Shimkus (R-Ill.), Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas)
  • Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif)  set to be head the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee plans an investigation of “Climategate.”

This Congress won’t be friendly to environment.  And then some.

And just to be totally honest, we fucking deserve it.  Environmentalists showed up to a knife fight with the nastiest kids on the block (Big Oil, Big Coal) with a NPR tote bag. They own our democracy, they own our media and they are wrecking the planet.  And the liberals, progressive and even radicals in our movements expected the Democratic politicians to magically grow a spine after all these years of not having any (and selling us out to the same corporations)  and do something about it.

Lots of groups are re-evaluating their strategies after failures around the UNCCC talks in Copenhagen, the climate bill and the elections, but the one that makes the most sense to me is James Carville’s campaign philosophy– “The other guy can’t hit you, if your fist is in his face.”