Monday, February 6, 2012

Dirty Cup of G-O-TEA

Apparently, the fossil fuel industry just dropped a cool $1.2 million into "Nevada Fracas Caucus" winner Willard "Mr. 1%" Romney's Super PAC. And what have they gotten out of Willard? See for yourself.

With [Texas Governor Rick] Perry out of the race, Romney has received more money from mining and oil than any other presidential candidate. The pro-Perry super PAC “Make Us Great Again” took in an outstanding $1.3 million from oil companies and executives during the last six months of his run.

Although Restore Our Future has no “formal” ties to the candidate, the donations reflect Romney’s right pivot on energy and climate concerns. The Massachusetts governor that once supported regulations on coal pollution, has since questioned whether carbon is even dangerous. In addition to becoming a climate denier, he now blasts government support for cleaner energy — despite creating a state green fund as governor.

You can expect Romney to sound suspiciously like his rich polluting backers, as dirty money continues to flood Restore Our Future and Romney’s campaign stash.

And that's not all. While Romney was campaigning here in Nevada, he actually told the RGJ editorial board that he doesn't know "what the purpose is" of public lands. I guess Mittens doesn't know his history or his economics.

Romney’s statement stands in stark contrast to the conservative tradition of knowing the value of protecting the lands that belong to all of us places for future generations. Teddy Roosevelt, the great Republican conservationist, once said, “Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation.”

Public lands in Nevada – and other western states—actually provide an enormous economic boost and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs. Indeed, recent Interior Department statistics show that federally managed public lands in Nevada provided over $1 billion in economic impacts and supported 13,311 jobs in 2010 (and this statistic doesn’t even include the economic impacts of Forest Service lands, managed by the Department of Agriculture). Recreation, energy and minerals, and grazing and timber all play a part in the economic effects that public lands provide to Nevada. Activities like skiing at Lake Tahoe, boating at Lake Mead, and hiking at Great Basin National Park all take place on public lands.

Either that, or perhaps his better judgment is being clouded by all those campaign donations by the fossil fuel industry. Hey, Desert Beacon may be onto something here. We're obviously doing quite well in providing jobs with public lands kept with the public's best interest in mind. ExxonMobil can't make money from that. Where's the "Drill, Baby, Drill!" when they need it?

Well, at least ExxonMobil is avoiding paying taxes on a whole lot of its profits. In fact, ExxonMobil pays a lower tax rate (17.6%) than most Americans. And it and other big oil companies can do so thanks to the G-O-TEA Congresscritters' votes to protect their tax bailouts. And yes, Nevada's own Senator Dean Heller (R-Fossil Fuel Industry BFF) voted with Big Oil. And considering Dean Heller netted $156,000 in fossil fuel industry donations, it makes perfect (dollars &) cents for Heller to vote for his BFFs.

So with Dean Heller already selling out Nevadans' best interests in Congress, is it any surprise that Mitt Romney is doing the same with his Presidential Campaign (and aligned Super PACs)? We know what will get our economy going again while also doing something about the greatest global security threat of our time. Yet instead of jumping forward with clean energy, G-O-TEA lackeys like Heller and Romney prefer to keep us mired in the dirty past with the fossil fuel industry that just happens to fuel their campaigns.

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