Big Oil Gushing Influence in Washington

posted by Rainforest Action Network

As the largest oil disaster in US history unfolds in the Gulf, with the financial meltdown as a backdrop, the American public is finally waking up to the devastating consequences of decades of unchecked corporate power.

These days, it seems like the only people who trust corporations, especially the dirtiest and most deceitful energy companies, are our elected representatives in Washington and in state capitals across the country.

A healthy, functioning, non-corrupt democracy would respond to our most recent corporate- created catastrophe by reigning in the oil industry and taking this opportunity of public outrage to move our country immediately and aggressively away from dirty oil and energy and into the clean energy future we so desperately need.

But alas, America’s democracy is as dirty as our energy system. Today, as I write this, US Senators are voting on an anti-science, dirty air resolution that would gut the EPA’s ability to regulate dangerous greenhouse gas emissions and give $140 billion giveaway to the oil industry. It is no coincidence that Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who introduced the resolution, is the third greatest benefactor of oil and gas money. Number one is Senator Blanche Lincoln, of Arkansas, one of the few Democrats who are voting for the resolution and against public health.

There are some courageous politicians in Washington that still listen to their constituents more than oily contributors. Next Tuesday, Representative Markey has called the oil executives of the 5 largest oil companies to testify before the House.

Rainforest Action Network’s Change Chevron team will be at that hearing and will carry the outrage of the American public, not only at the oil companies, but at a government that has allowed money to cloud its judgment at tremendous cost to communities, health, livelihoods, and our environment.

BP, Chevron, Exxon, and the rest of their Big Oil buddies have made lying and killing a standard part of their business practice. From Alaska to Ecuador to the Gulf they cut corners to save pennies, fight regulation, lie, spill and pollute, refuse to clean up their messes, and insist on keep America dangerously addicted to oil. And they depend on Senators like Murkowski and Lincoln to get away with, literally, murder.

Cross-posted from Alternet.