The American Petroleum Institute is so bent on protecting the pollution industry that it is willing to cast public health aside in favor of saving a buck.
Politico's Morning Energy today reported that API and the Manufacturers Alliance are complaining about EPA moves to strengthen the Clean Air Act's standards, which must be based solely on heath considerations, according to the Supreme Court. For API to speak out against an improved Clean Air Act shows a callous disregard for those who have been sickened or killed from pollution-induced health problems, such as asthma or heart failure.
Politico's Josh Voorhees wrote,
"The Manufacturers Alliance’s Donald Norman and API’s Howard Feldman will warn that the agency’s regulations would be too expensive for industry and put almost the entire country into nonattainment for federal air quality limits, including rural areas where no one lives. EPA’s rules are due in mid- to late October."
In a blog response, the National Resources Defense Council notes that the industry's typical "economic disaster" prophesy is likely blown out of proportion, as such economic scare-claims [pdf] over environmental regulation have historically been.
Writing for The Nation, Jeremy Scahill reports that leaked documents reveal Chevron and several other major multinational corporations have consulted security and intelligence firms with ties to Blackwater, the notorious private military contractor. Blackwater, now known as Xe Services, has close ties to companies Total Intelligence Solutions and the Terrorism Research Center, both of which are owned and chaired by Blackwater founder Erik Prince.
Other solicitors of the Prince companies include the Walt Dinsney Company, Deutsche Bank, and Monsanto, which expressed interest in using Total Intelligence Solutions to infiltrate animal rights organizations.
-Sacramento Bee, September 9, 2010
Despite obtaining over $4 million from Valero, $1.5 million from Tesoro and $1 million from Koch Industries subsidiary Flint Hills Resources, the president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association sent out a plea, literally, for more money to undermine California's legislative effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions and implement more clean energy.
In an email to members of the NPRA, president Charles Drevna wrote, "I am pleading with each of you—for our nation's best interest and for your company's own self-interest."
More can be found at the Wall Street Journal online.
Valero Energy and Koch Industries subsidiary Flint Hills, neither of which are based in California, have invested millions in the industry attempt to suspend California's Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32). Texas-based Tesoro Corporation, another oil refiner, is also heavily invested in the fight.
As dirty energy influence peddlars are pulling the usual economic apocalypse arguments, a recently-released assessment concluded that not following California's plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions and implement clean energy would be the worse economic option.
Passing Proposition 23 would simply leave California more polluted and less prosperous, while oil executives and lobbyists would continue to rejoice at their personal profit at the expense of a healthy planet and healthy people.
Tom Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has decided that the American people share the responsibility of paying for the massive cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico following the blowout of BP's Deepwater Horizon Macondo well. As Huffington Post's Jason Linkins points out, apparently Donohue does believe in socialism to the extent that corporate liability can be extended to the public after nationally-recognized disasters.
"It is generally not the practice of this country to change the laws after the game," said Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. ". . . Everybody is going to contribute to this clean up. We are all going to have to do it. We are going to have to get the money from the government and from the companies and we will figure out a way to do that."
John Boehner, who affirmatively responded to a journalist asking if he agreed with Donohue, later backtracked and stated that BP should be responsible for the cleanup bill. Perhaps the $1,000 donation from BP this election cycle wasn't enough to make Boehner hold his ground in defense of the polluter giant; had they spent over $22,000 like American Electric Power, $10,000 like Southern Company, or $7,500 like Koch Industries, perhaps he would have been more adament in his initial position. Check out Dirty Energy Money to see who else is lining Boehner's political pockets.
The full article and supplemental links can be found on the Huffington Post.
Picture source: Sun-sentinel
"A 2008 Chevron blowout appears in hindsight to have been a rehearsal for Deepwater Horizon and its design problems. Like BP, Chevron was in the final stages of drilling a well aboard Transocean rig Discoverer Deep Seas. Because of the blowout, drillers lost 500,000 gallons of drilling mud into the earth below the wellhead, and spilled 293 gallons onto the ocean floor."
Full article: "Deadly Gulf blowouts persist"
-Houston Chronicle, July 20, 2010
-New York Times Green blog, June 17, 2010
-New York Times, June 4, 2010