Thursday, June 29, 2006

McNerney: "Richard Pombo Continues to Shill for Big Oil"

JUNE 29, 2006

"Richard Pombo Continues to Shill for Big Oil
Jerry McNerney issues statement on Pombo's Offshore Drilling Legislation

Today Richard Pombo proclaimed, "you can't say no on everything." But time and again, when given the chance to draft legislation that would actually reduce our nation's dangerous addiction to oil, Pombo refuses to just say "no" to Big Oil.

The bill that just passed the House is just another example of Richard Pombo being the number one shill for Big Oil in Congress. The legislation is so outrageous that even Governor Schwarzenegger and President Bush have come out against it.

I have called Richard Pombo "Big Oil's Best Friend" because he has no problem putting the best interests of Big Oil ahead of the American people. Pombo's bill is riddled with industry-friendly loopholes that blow yet another hole in the Federal budget. In addition, the bill would give states a maximum of three years to ban offshore drilling; providing Big Oil lobbyists time to derail any offshore drilling moratoriums at the state level.

If Governor Schwarzenegger and President Bush understand that this bill is bad for America, why doesn't Richard Pombo?

Jerry McNerney is a nationally recognized expert in wind energy engineerig and renewable energy and works as an energy consultant.

*Update: McNerney Calls House Approval of Bill to Drill Off California’s
Coast “Reckless,” “Short-sighted,” and “Fiscally Irresponsible;”

Calls On Senate to Defeat Measure

"Jerry McNerney sharply criticized the U.S. House of Representatives for passing a bill yesterday that will not solve the nation’s energy problems, but will put more carbon into the atmosphere and place California’s precious coastline at risk of contamination and spills. McNerney is challenging Richard Pombo, one of the bill’s leading proponents, in the race for Congress to represent California’s 11th Congressional District.
“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.”
In addition, the vast majority of Californians do not want oil or gas drilling off of their coastline, rightfully believing that to jeopardize the number one tourist attraction in the state would be serious folly. A February 2006 poll by the respected Public Policy Institute of California revealed that 2 out of 3 Californians oppose any off-shore drilling whatsoever, including 46% of the state’s Republicans.
“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,” said McNerney. “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.”

According to the AP1, Pombo ridiculed the bill’s critics - which include Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - “as opposing everything.” In a related Stockton Record article2, Pombo spokesman Brian Kennedy accused the Governor of not “closely” reading a letter Pombo sent to him describing his scheme, and then complained that Schwarzenegger’s reply expressing his opposition to Pombo and support for strong coastal protections “was a campaign flyer.”
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.”
“Stripping out $69 billion of federal revenue without stating how this revenue will be made up is fiscal irresponsibility at its worst,” said McNerney. “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?”
According to AP, moderate Republican Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) attempted to insert into the bill a provision to increase automobile fuel efficiency standards, but was prevented from doing so. Boehlert reportedly said, “We should not be opening all of our coasts to oil drilling when we have not taken the first steps to conserve oil.”
“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,” said McNerney. “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.”
Jerry McNerney is a nationally recognized expert in wind energy engineering and renewable energy and works as an energy consultant.

1 House Votes to End Offshore Drilling Ban
By H. JOSEF HEBERT, The Associated Press
Thursday, June 29, 2006; 7:37 PM
2 Governor won't back Pombo's drilling bill
Hank Shaw, Capitol Bureau Chief
Tuesday, Jun 27, 2006


Paid for by McNerney for Congress"


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