Sunday, July 02, 2006

Local Residents Rally to Protest Rep. Pombo's Flip-Flopping on Offshore Drilling as the Latest Example of Doing Big Oil's Bidding...

Defenders Of Wildlife
June 28, 2006

"Local Residents Rally to Protest Rep. Pombo's Flip-Flopping on Offshore Drilling as the Latest Example of Doing Big Oil's Bidding for Campaign Contributions

Pleasanton, CA -- Today, local residents held a "Pombo in Big Oil's Pocket" rally at a local Shell gas station in Pleasanton, where they decried Representative Richard Pombo's latest favor for Big Oil in return for campaign contributions: His flip-flop to push for offshore drilling.

In the latest example of Rep. Pombo being in the pocket of Big Oil, this week he is moving to open California's coasts to offshore drilling. The House will debate Pombo's bill (H.R. 4761) on

Thursday which would lift the 25-year-old bipartisan moratorium on off-shore drilling and force states that want to protect their coasts to jump through hoops and petition every five years to reinstate the ban in their waters.

"Big Oil companies have given Rep. Pombo $230,000 in campaign contributions to encourage him to hand over billions in tax cuts, taxpayer-funded subsidies, and push for more drilling," said Rodger Schlickeisen, President of the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. "These contributions were obviously more important to Rep. Pombo than the protection of California's beautiful and fragile coastline. He has even flip-flopped on his opposition to offshore drilling to push policies that benefit his Big Oil contributors."

On April 23, 2005, Rep. Pombo was quoted on the Stockton Record saying: "I have always supported the moratorium.

"The oil and gas industry already has access to a vast amount of acreage of the Outer Continental Shelf, but they have developed only a fraction of it. In fact, although more than 40 million acres of the federal Outer Continental Shelf are under lease, less than 7 million of those acres (less than 20%) are in production. The oil and gas industry is sitting on more than 33 million acres of undeveloped leases, and companies such as the Shell Oil Company, have active leases in the eastern district of the Gulf of Mexico near Florida.

Local residents at the rally decried what they saw as Pombo's corrupt revolving door relationship with Big Oil companies for campaign contributions.

"Gas prices are soaring out of control and even as Big Oil companies are posting billions of dollars in profits, I ask why my congressman, Richard Pombo is continuing to give them billions in tax breaks, taxpayer-funded subsidies, and now trying to let them drill off of our shores," said Norm Rhett of San Ramon. "I have at least one suspicion: Pombo is returning the favors to Big Oil companies after having taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from them, and that is wrong.

"Tom Houston of Pleasanton called for electoral action: "I'm disappointed in Congressman Pombo for continuing to put the interests of big oil companies ahead of me and others who live in his district," said Houston, a registered Republican. "His latest pro-oil flip-flop is really beginning to make me think twice about who I vote for this November."


The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund provides a powerful voice in Washington to Americans who value our conservation heritage. Through grassroots lobbying, issue advocacy and political campaigns, the Action Fund champions those laws and lawmakers that protect wildlife and wild places while working against those that do them harm." (source)


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