Wednesday, June 28, 2006

What's Wrong With This Man?


Rep. Richard Pombo yesterday passed his offshore oil drilling legislation out of the House Resources Committee. This legislation, which is expected to be passed by the full House on Thursday and has generated the promise of a filibuster from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), would open the coastlines of the United States to offshore oil drilling, which has been under a moratorium for the last 25 years. States would supposedly have the opportunity to opt in or out of the plan, being able to bring drilling in as close as 50 miles offshore but losing altogether the ability to control drilling more than 100 miles off their shores (and, of course, having no say over what their next-door neighbors might be doing). Last Wednesday, when the bill was still in committee, Richard Pombo tried to lean on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, writing him a formal letter requesting his support of the legislation. The response from the governor was underwhelming:
Schwarzenegger has not seen Pombo's letter or the legislation, but he opposes any new offshore drilling "and has consistently opposed congressional attempts to weaken the current federal protections for the California coast," said spokesman Darrel Ng. The governor "has made his opposition to offshore oil drilling clear to both Congress and the president and will continue to do so in the future," Ng said.

Although Pombo and Schwarzenegger, both Republicans, have cooperated on issues including seeking more money for Sacramento levee repairs, the conservative House member and the moderate governor disagree on many environmental issues. Pombo's election-year challenge to Schwarzenegger on offshore drilling -- strongly opposed by a majority of California voters -- is not likely to change that.
Schwarzenegger, who is desperately trying to green up his image in anticipation of a tough gubernatorial race in November, made it clear when he gave his formal response that he was not going to serve as a wing-man for Pombo.
"Just last month, the House of Representatives voted once again to extend this moratorium, a process that has worked in the past and is working today to protect our coast. I see no reason to jettison this longstanding and workable approach," the governor wrote Pombo in a letter released Tuesday. […]

"As long as Pombo is using his position to do the dirty work for Big Oil, he's going to alienate the majority of Californians who want their coast protected," said Eric Antebi of the Sierra Club.

"No wonder Gov. Schwarzenegger rejected Pombo's drilling scheme." A February poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found that two-thirds of all Californians oppose lifting the drilling ban; that included 46 percent of Republicans.
Ahem.

So late yesterday Pombo, not to be deterred, responded:
In a conference call today with California reporters, Pombo bristled at the governor's latest critique.

"I think the governor is probably getting bad advice on this," Pombo said. "Anyone who really does want to control or stop any kind of energy exploration off the coast of California, this bill is written for them."

He went on to make a less-than-favorable comparison between Schwarzenegger and another Republican governor opposed to drilling, Florida's Jeb Bush, who has expressed some support for Pombo's new bill, which is expected to get a House vote on Thursday.

"There's probably not a governor in the whole country who is more anti-drilling than Jeb Bush," the Tracy Republican said. "At the same time, he actually read the bill."
Ouch!

While we're holding our breaths, awaiting the anticipated response from Schwarzenegger, let’s actually look at the price tag for this offshore drilling bill -- something I guarantee Pombo doesn’t want us to do.

According to Rigzone, “Your Gateway to the Oil and Gas Industry,” Pombo’s offshore drilling plan would COST the US government $11 billion over the next decade, according to an estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. But that’s not all.
A preliminary estimate by Interior's Minerals Management Service last week projected the bill would cost the government $69 billion over 15 years.
Think about it -- $69 billion of yours and my tax money. Think of the real solutions and benefits that our country could reap from $69 billion invested in renewable energy research. And he’s willing to sell that out for $182,134 in contributions to his re-election fund. Pombo is just pure evil. He must be stopped.

19 Comments:

Blogger VPO said...

Offshore drilling is "strongly opposed by a majority of California voters". What about 11th District voters?

Is Pombo going against the will of the "majority of voters" in the 11th District? Maybe he thinks that in the district, especially San Joaquin, he is safe enough and that they support his far right, pro-development, anti-environmental agenda.

However, I doubt that most Republicans are that far gone on the environment. We saw McCloskey get one-third of the votes in the primary running on a conservation, "old time values" Republican theme.

Pombo, of course, does not see it this way. He is phrasing it as "energy independence" so that we fine upstanding, hard-working Americans don't have to get our oil from a bunch of dirty and dangerous ragheads in the Middle East. I think, unfortunately, there are people in the district who buy into this jingoistic posturing.

Also, it seems, Pombo thinks production off the coasts will somehow bring down gasoline prices, which shows almost no sense of economics. Part of this ist that he is pandering to the crowd that is clammering for the good old days of gas under $2/gallon. Pombo wants to seem like he is doing something. But another part is that maybe he actually believes more domestic production will affect prices worldwide.

From what I can tell, Pombo never finished college. His bio says he "attended California State University at Pomona". Yes, I know Bill Gates never finished Harvard, but the difference is that Gates is a genius and Pombo is, generally speaking, a moron.

So Pombo, with his limited understanding of economics beyond how to get campaign donations and then funnel them to his wife and brother, seems to think that opening up offshore drilling or the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will produce lower prices, more security, and "energy independence".

What a fantasy! Oil is sold on the world market. Demand is increasing enormously and supply is not keeping pace. Offshore drilling and the North Slope will not produce enough to make a significant difference in prices. And it would be very difficult to have one set of prices for America, and another for the rest of the world. What does he think? BP, Shell, and Exxon are going to sell at lower prices to the US market rather than for more to overseas customers?

Even if the US could produce all its own oil (it can't), it would take some extreme measures to have one market inside the US and the rest of the oil market for the rest of the world. Is that what Pombo is proposing? I have not seen this proposal, but he is somehow implying that a small increase in production (at high environmental cost) will affect prices worldwide. Or that somehow US oil will be transported and sold separately in a US-only market. None of it makes much sense.

Pombo not only ignores basic economics, he purposely avoids two other issues:

1. Global Warming -- even if we could produce all the oil we need domestically, the burning of fossil fuels is undisputably (except by Pombo) causing adverse changes in the global climate. We must get off fossil fuels even if they were abundant.

2. Energy conservation, efficiency, and alternative/renewable sources -- Pombo barely gives lip service to these, mentioning them only in passing as "maybes" for the distant future. As Babaloo points out in the post, how come we can afford massive subsidies and giveaways to the oil industry, but can hardly fund research into alternatives?

Pombo should be voted out of office for many, many things, but one of the most glaring is his kow-towing to auto industry and voting against raising the CAFE standards (vehicle fuel efficiency) every chance he gets.

Basically, Pombo's energy policy is driven by one thing -- not common sense, not "sound science", not a concern for the working class American, not "security" -- but only by how much campaign contributions and fund-raisers roll in from the oil industry.

Kudos to Schwarzenegger for not buying into Pombo's pigheaded ignorance and unprincipled selling of our natural resources to the ones who contribute most to his campaign.

8:37 AM, June 28, 2006  
Blogger Delta said...

I don't want to write a lot. Just to call attention to Angelides "Coast Guard" proposal

As this plays out in the gubernatorial race, it will affect the 11th CD. Angelides will try to pair Schwarzenegger with Pombo and Pombo will have the opportunity to rant about those crazy liberal enviros. In some areas, this will stick. I read somewhere that "San Ramon loves Exxon."

3:22 PM, June 28, 2006  
Blogger JLou said...

San Ramon loves *Chevron* (which is HQ'd there). I would guess that many Tri-Valley Republicans are moderate-to-light green on environmental issues.

5:21 PM, June 28, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Actually, Chevron is owned by Texaco, which is HQ'ed in Houston. And having lived in San Ramon for 9 years, I would say San Ramon is comfortable with Chevron's presence, as it is with SBC and the other corporations in and around Bishop Ranch, but it is by no means a "company town".

I would dispute the phrase that "San Ramon loves Chevron". I don't think that is the case. Sure some people do, but most people probably hardly ever even think about Chevron. It is just there, nothing to love or hate about it particularly.

From what I saw there, the San Ramon people are generally middle to upper middle class suburbans, living in a nice friendly town. I would say it is a mix of Bay Area liberalism and suburban, family-friendly conservatism. Definitely more wealthy and educated than San Joaquin. And much less a sense of place, as most people have moved there in the last 10 - 15 years.

All in all, a good place to live if you have a family, though housing prices are a bit ridiculous.

I think you could find many McNerney supporters there. Remember that the town was shoe-horned into Pombo's district in the 2000 redistricting. They have no allegiance to Pombo. Before the redistricting, they were represented by Dem. Ellen Tauscher.

9:33 PM, June 28, 2006  
Blogger JLou said...

You are right, VPO, it's not a company town. I only meant to say that if San Ramon loves any oil/gas company, it's Chevron as opposed to Exxon. But, although many people in the community work for Chevron, I don't think that leads to any cross-over effect on environmental issues. Not surprisingly, Chevron is a huge supporter of Pombo, especially given his help on blocking the CNOOC buyout.

Incidentally, "Chevron Corp." is the parent corporation of Chevron, Texaco and Caltex. They dropped the Texaco from their name last year and the whole enchilada has its world headquarters in San Ramon, CA. I promise.

10:01 AM, June 29, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

You are right, jlou. I have not kept up on the Chevron news, but their HQ is now in San Ramon, not Houston.

I had neighbors who worked at Chevron, and those people were suprisingly environmental -- but saw Chevron as a chance for good jobs, and had a "someone has to do it" attitude. And in that sense, they had a point, since we all drive cars and use oil products.

Maybe they should put a big oil refinery in San Ramon, then we can see how much "San Ramon Loves Chevron". Somehow it is very nice to live with the clean, professional corporate HQ, but leave the mess of drilling and refining to far off places.

11:31 AM, June 29, 2006  
Blogger Kevin Keefe said...

Nice pic.

12:51 PM, June 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

waaaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaa

This country was built on cheap energy you socialists

12:41 AM, June 30, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Anonym-ASS.

Rocky here. You is obviously one of dem friggin SPIES, not to mention a MORON, cuz dere ain't no socialists blottin on dis blot cuz Rocky know all duh blotters on accounta duh fact dat he's in duh Inner Circle even if he ain't yet becum a dealer. Butt mebbe sumday I will, if Rocky can only figger out where all duh good stuff cums from.

But you don't need to cry nor shed no tears on our blot jest becuz you is a MORON, just becuz you is WRONG wunce again, just becuz yer a BUTTWIPE, etc etc even though I know it must be hard on yer friends dat is if you even had any which you don't which is why yer cummin over here to try and stir tings up on our blot by callin us names. You is PATHETIC.

Go shed yer tears on duh Crocodiles, whedder it be duh Dundee one or not I don't friggin care.

Rocky out.

9:53 AM, June 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good American Oil is organic matter. The First Americans worshipped it for its therapeutic values. Rocky oughtta try some on that carbuncle on his ass that makes him so ornery. American oil is for Americans. I say lets get it and use all we can...like Maxwell House....it's good..to the last drop. OH! I just read that bill that makes Barbara Streisand so nervous because her own sense of her acute vision leads her to believe that she can see 100 miles from shore passed with lotsa bipartisan support. That bipartisan thing is good...like multiculturalism and all that other bi-wheverjazz we worship.

10:54 AM, June 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oil is organic, and thus good. The Indians worshipped it for its therapeutic powers. To be anti-oil is to hate Indians....our first environmentalists. Choose life....choose good American oil. Besides, everyone know that oil from offshore is the cleanest burning kind of oil. Its connection with the hydrogen molecules in water (H2O) enhance its hydrogen content.

10:58 AM, June 30, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Anon,

I'm not sure if you were trying to write satire, or if you are on crack. Incidentally, crack is organic too.

11:31 AM, June 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt--

I'm not high on crack; I'm high on hate....just like all of the others on this site.

1:47 PM, June 30, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Well as long as it's organic...

1:50 PM, June 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alliance applauds House vote
Published on 06/30/2006
Washington, DC – The 105 members of the Agriculture Energy Alliance (AEA) congratulate the bipartisan House members for their strong vote today to expand offshore production in the Outer Continental Shelf. The Alliance is particularly grateful for the work done by Congressmen Richard Pombo (R-CA), John Peterson (R-PA), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Charles Melancon (D-LA) and Adam Putnam (R-FL) in crafting the approved compromise bill.

AEA urges the Senate to pass legislation quickly that will significantly improve natural gas supply in the United States. Throughout debate on energy policy the AEA has consistently encouraged Congress to pass legislation that would allow expanded natural gas production in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).


The AEA represents a broad-based coalition of farm organizations and agribusinesses that face a crisis because of government policies that have created demand for natural gas while at the same time restricting access to supply sources. The farm sector depends on significant amounts of natural gas for food processing, irrigation, crop drying, heating farm buildings and homes, and production of crop protection chemicals and nitrogen fertilizers.

Additional supply of American energy resources is important to maintaining a competitive agricultural sector. AEA supports legislation that will provide an enhanced role for development of offshore energy resources leading to a more diverse portfolio and additional supplies of natural gas. We stand ready to work with the Senate on this extremely important legislation that is critical to U.S. farmers, agribusiness and other U.S. energy consumers.

2:03 PM, June 30, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Anonym-ASS.

Rocky here again. I mean like you is really settin new standards of dumBBBBBness on dis here blot, wit 5 capitol Bees dis time, on accounta duh fact dat you is even dumBBBBBer than 5 friggin doornails, or even toenails fer dat matter, esp duh ones infected by fungus. And dat toenail fungus is sure ugly too, probably like you is, if you ain't busted all duh mirrors yet just by lookin at 'em. Jeezus!

No wunder you is a ButtaPombO supporter, even if neither you nor any of youse on Team ButtWipe are duh athletic kind of supporters, which judgin from yer pitchers, none of youse ain't. Butt you oughta try to do sumtin about duh jock straps connectin up yer mouths wit yer butts cuz dere mixin up the sounds cummin from yer traps wit duh sounds cummin from yer butts so as Rocky can't tell duh difference between you and even Paulie. You know what I'm sayin?

Take sum friggin BeanO and shut yer trap once in a while. Duh hole idea of a friggin blot is dat you try and loin from blottin up duh wizzdumB of duh blots posted by duh blotters, not bein a crybaby like you nor a blabola like Rocky. I may get to deal sum day, cuz I'm loinin, but no friggin way you'll ever becum a dealer unless you change yer dumBBBBBass ways.

And den you go out and use big woids to try and impress Rocky, like "carbuncle," butt it don't woik cuz Ricky tried dat wunce and it didn't woik on Rocky den neither. Butt he's reformed, unlike you.

Now you just don't carry no wait on dis here blot and you ain't got no respect neither as a friggin ineffectual cuz you is recognized by duh entire Inner Circle as a friggin SPY and a fat, ugly, dumBBBBBBass one at dat. Swimmin in Jack-off's dough, wit yer cheeks all puffed out like a friggin chipmunk wit his money while yer ButtaPombO Boss Tweed sings like Alvin duh Fool on Duh Hill, except he's a castrated pigeon instedda a chipmunk and don't sound nowheres near as good as Alvin or even Frankie Valley cuz he's been singin duh same friggin tune fer far too long.

Get lost, you punk. Rocky alreddy gotta deal wit Paulie's outgassin at nite when he gets home from woik and I don't need to deal wit yer outgassin durin duh day on dis blot.

Or I'm tellin you, I'm gonna cum over dere right in duh middle of yer dumB blot, which really is a blot unlike dis one, which is populated by ineffectuals like Mr $.02 and Mr VPO. And babaloo. And Delta.

Rocky out. Yer out too - to lunch. Get a real job in a Mexican restaurant after you eat dis lunch, and mebbe you would not be MORON ferever.

2:06 PM, June 30, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rocky...did you know that Vaseline is actually petroleum jelly? Think about how much of that you've used and then tell me it isn't good for you.

4:42 AM, July 01, 2006  
Anonymous Rocky Balboa said...

Yo Mr Anonym-ASS,

Rocky here. Finally you wanna have a serious conservation wit Rocky, but Jeez you is still dumB.

Rocky don't eat petroleum jelly - he prefer grape jelly, and wunce in a while razzberry jelly. But why duh hell would anywun wanna eat jelly made from petroleum? Its gotta taste bad, even if it wuz disgized wit lotsa peanut butter.

If Rocky's memory soive him cor-rectally, petroleum jelly is udderwise known as Napalm. So I tink yer trying to trick me wit dis question, but Rocky too smart fer you.

Now if youse on Team ButtWipe are dumB enough to be eatin dis stuff, dat could account fer duh fact dat youse all got fires burnin in yer bellies. And if youse are using dis stuff in udder places, like fer example where duh sun don't shine, dat could explain why yer all a buncha flamin arse-holes.

Anyways, if you'd start hookin yerselves into duh power grid we wouldn't need to drill fer oil offa our coast, and in duh spirit of bi-partisan copulation I'll even donate Paulie to duh cause.

Rocky out.

10:27 AM, July 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We in the 11th like cars, jobs and creating new American energy sources being explored to continue the American economic engine. Get used to it.

Say Mo to Pombo!

11:38 PM, July 04, 2006  

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