(Pombo was not pleased when Arnold announced his opposition to this bill, even going so far as to say that arnold didn’t read the bill and questioning the Governator’s intelligence. Pot: “Kettle, you’re black” – promoted by SFBrianCL)
Renewable energy expert, Jerry McNerney, has called on the US Senate to defeat any bill that would repeal the moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling.
McNerney is the Democratic challenger in CA-11, where the infamous Republican Richard Pombo currently rules the district. Pombo spearheaded the House bill that will open our coasts to drilling. When moderate Republican Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) tried to add higher fuel efficiency to the bill, Pombo helped defeat the measure. Pombo is not interested in a sustainable and responsible energy plan — he is interested in serving his favorite industry, Big Oil.
In a February 2006 poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, 2 out of 3 Californians stated that they oppose any offshore drilling, including 46% of the state’s Republicans. Arnold Schwarzenegger also opposed the Pombo bill, but that didn’t stop Pombo from serving the industries that support his political career.
After the bill passed, McNerney issues a detailed press release calling on the US Senate to not pass a similar bill opening our coastlines to drilling:
“The bottom line is that we cannot drill our way to energy independence, and we can not continue to ignore the very real problem of global warming,” said McNerney. “As sea levels rise, the risk of levee failure and catastrophic flooding in the Delta increases greatly, and salt water intrusion promises to wreak havoc with local farmers and land values in the district. Pombo’s plan is not a sensible energy plan for our nation or this district.”
“Once again, you have to wonder just who it is that Mr. Pombo is representing in Congress. While gas prices were soaring in the spring, he was jetting down to Houston to attend a posh fundraiser held by oil industry lobbyists. And now, with gas prices still over $3 per gallon and district families and commuters still hurting, we have Pombo recklessly disregarding the opinions of the vast majority of the citizens of this state as he tries to pay back his big money contributors.”
In addition to being environmentally reckless, Pombo has also proven that he is willing to be financially reckless to get what he wants.
McNerney also noted that the Pombo-supported bill changes the formula for sharing oil and gas royalties between the federal government and the states, such that four states – Texas among them – would receive a windfall while the US Treasury would lose as much as $69 billion over a 15 year period, according to figures supplied by the US Department of the Interior. The Associated Press reported that the White House issued a statement strongly opposing this provision in the Pombo-backed bill, as it “would have a long-term impact on the federal deficit.”
McNerney stated that “Stripping out $69 billion of federal revenue without stating how this revenue will be made up is fiscal irresponsibility at its worst. Who will Mr. Pombo put a tax increase on to make up for this shortfall? What spending programs will he cut? Or is he proposing to simply just add this amount as a further debt burden on our children and grandchildren, in addition to leaving them with an overheated planet?”
“Our nation needs a real energy plan, of the kind I envision based on new energy technology and an emphasis on conservation, that will create real jobs in our district while reducing the burning of fossil fuels. This will mean less time wasted driving in our cars to far away jobs, and more time to spend with our families. It will mean cleaner air and our kids having less asthma and other associated health problems. And frankly, we need to begin now to reduce the threat of global warming and the devastating scenarios envisioned by reputable scientists who are concerned about the Delta and a substantial part of this district that sits just above sea level.”
You can take action in two ways:
First, you can email, fax, or call your senators and make it clear that you do not support any type of offshore drilling — regardless of how much Republicans attempt to bribe other members of Congress with promises of money. The US Senate could vote on this issue as soon as this week.
Second, go to Mark Warner’s MapChangers website and vote for Jerry McNerney. If you voted in previous rounds, you can vote again in this final round which ends at 12:00 AM EDT on Tuesday, July 11. If Jerry wins, Warner will host a fundraiser for him — and Jerry needs all the help he can get to compete with Pombo’s industry money. (Note: when you vote at MapChangers, be sure to click the Submit button to have your vote count).
Thanks for supporting people like Jerry McNerney — one of the innovative Democrats who can actually set us on a path to sustainability.
(Cross posted at Daily Kos)