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Oct-01-2012 22:46printcomments

Big Oil Funding U.S. Politics

Boehner has been tossed more than his share of extra bones...

U.S. Rep. John Boehner
U.S. Rep. John Boehner photo courtesy:

(LONDON - U.S. Rep. John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, received nearly twice as much financial support from donors tied to the energy sector than did the next-closest recipient, a report from the National Wildlife Federation finds. The 20-page report highlights the role it says oil companies play in U.S. politics, stating energy companies are working behind the scenes on Capitol Hill to influence legislation in favour of oil, natural gas and coal policies. The NWF report finds that the current 112th U.S. Congress has voted one out of every five times against legislation drafted in favour of environmental issues.

Boehner, R-Ohio, in a press conference this week, spoke out against a stagnant unemployment climate in the United States. The U.S. Labour Department, in an early September report, showed the unemployment rate dropped slightly in August to 8.1 percent, down 0.2 percent from its July level. That's the 43rd consecutive month, however, that the unemployment rate was above 8 percent, the longest period since World War II. The House speaker said this was a sign of President Barack Obama's failure to lead.

On Friday, Boehner led the House of Representatives in passing the so-called Stop the War on Coal Act, a measure that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases. It's unlikely to pass through the Senate.

"We’re the Saudi Arabia of coal and the president wants to shut down coal production and the use of coal in the United States so that we can export it to our economic competitors around the world," said Boehner in a statement. It's a jobs issue, he said.

The report from the NWF, released on the eve of the House vote, finds that Oxbow Corp., a private company focused on mining and marketing of coal, natural gas and petroleum, donated more than $80,000 to Boehner's campaign since 2010. The NWF explains that Oxbow was founded by William Koch, whose twin billionaire brothers are among the largest corporate financiers of the U.S. Congress. According to information NWF gathered from The Center for Responsive Politics, energy companies like Oxbow gave more than $814,000 to Boehner's campaign during the current Congress.

The NWF's report, however, is non-partisan in its effort to showcase the energy sector's monetary influence over U.S. politics. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, ranked No. 2 on the NWF's list. Manchin, ahead of Friday's vote in the House, said it was clear that "the EPA has overstepped its bounds" in terms of action that could target the coal industry. Of the top 10 lawmakers listed in the NWF report, however, Manchin is the only Democrat and received $480,050 compared to Boehner's $814,060.

The NWF states that the House of Representatives, led by Boenher and his fellow Republicans, voted 109 times since the start of 2011 to weaken environmental laws or some of the safety regulations in the oil industry.

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the NWF, said the report provides a "behind the curtains" look into U.S. politics.

"America has been losing ground in the climate fight, and much of this is due to gridlock within our political system," he writes. "The resulting inertia is sustained by oil, gas, and coal companies that have spent more than a billion dollars on campaign contributions, public advertising, and lobbying in the past two years alone."


By. Daniel J. Graeber of




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charlene October 2, 2012 6:00 pm (Pacific time)

Dj you are wrong. The epa like the public unions have become criminal in their behavior. Canada has severe pollutlon problems. You have skin in the game there. Good luck with your feckless govt.

DJ: So you want to abolish the EPA? 

Surely you've heard of Abraham Maslow who famously said: “It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”

Your "hammer" is the union. No matter what, you want to blame unions or find some tenuous way to hold them responsible for ills, large or small,  real or imagined.

Here in Calgary, right out of the tap, we have some the safest, cleanest water in the world. Damn government and their unions!

In 2000 there was an outbreak of E. Coli in Walkerton, Ontario where seven people died and thousands became ill.. Many held the provincial conservative  premier, Mike Harris responsible, a person with an extreme-right political philosophy akin to yours. The CBC reported that "Premier Harris immediately blamed the former NDP government for loosening water standards. Within a week he had announced a public inquiry that wound up laying part of the blame for the Walkerton disaster on cutbacks ordered by the Harris government." The previous NDP government was only in office until 1995 when the Harris Conservatives took power and ordered the cutbacks in 1996 where water-testing was privatized. (Out, damn union.). Harris, like yourself was anti-union.

You can read the whole thing here:  

I think you'll deny what I've said, but you won't be able to refute it.  Think cognitive dissonance.

Anonymous October 2, 2012 8:37 am (Pacific time)

Rep. Boehner, like anyone who uses energy, understands that we need to have it. The EPA has turned into a far left arm of zealot anti-Americans. They ignore congress, and make their rules/regs and consider them as laws. They are constnatly overturned, but until they get to the final court level, the EPA is essentially a terrorist force to not just energy producers, but even to our food producers. The time may come when you turn on the light switch and nothing happens. Then the day may come when the stores are all empty of food.These events/conditions have happened many times around the world, and the Obama cabal is doing their best to bring you to your knees. Then they will do with you as they wish. Study Stalin to see what that may be...Oh, by the way, a simple switch, and your commo is gone, which also has happened around the world when tyrants are in power.

DJ: I suggest that the EPA be disbanded. Then, with no "far left" influences, rivers like the  Mississippi and bodies of water like the Great Lakes can stagnate and die, unable to support life--even algae.

Water pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day, mostly due to contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage in developing countries. An estimated 700 million Indians have no access to a proper toilet, and 1,000 Indian children die of diarrhoeal sickness every day. Those are countries with no EPA or its equivalent.

The Cuyahoga River was once one of the most polluted rivers in the United States. The reach from Akron to Cleveland had no living fish.

At least 13 fires had been reported on the Cuyahoga River, the first occurring in 1868. The largest river fire in 1952 caused over $1 million in damage to boats and a river front office building (about $900 million in today's dollars). Fires erupted on the river several more times before June 22, 1969, when a river fire captured the attention of Time magazine, which described the Cuyahoga as the river that "oozes rather than flows" and in which a person "does not drown but decays".

Or, less visible, the air you breathe will become so toxic that it kills with asthma and other chronic lung diseases. People who have never smoked will die of lung cancer or cardiovascular diseases.

Or food. How can you be sure of the safety (let alone nutritive value) of any food you buy? Bacteria like E Coli can spread through the population so fast that they can't be stopped.  That's what R/R will visit on the American people if they gain power. Even Stalin didn't do that because through his decades, the importance of the environment was not yet known. 

When scenarios like that develop, you can get out your guns for self defence. (Good luck with that.) 

Is that what you want the future to be for your fellow citizens and your children? 

If anyone is "anti-American", it's Romney, Ryan, Republicans and people of your ilk. 

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