On Energy Policy and Pombo Mailings
My favorite part of Pombo's three-step plan is step 3, which is supposed to deal with long term energy independence. Pombos long term solution - Tax Breaks. I'm guessing the logic is if you give people money they'll ignore the fact that oil companies have basically bought the republican majority and are creating America's energy policy. The republican plan to deal with energy independence amounts to a pledge to 'stay the course.' More drilling, more subsidies for oil companies, higher gas prices, and record oil profits. So when you think energy independence or a healthy environment to raise your kids in, pombo wants you to think about a tax break. As his tax payer funded piece reads, "Did you know the Energy Policy Act Congressman Pombo helped write can save you money at tax time?"
My other favorite part of this tax payer funded mailer is that Pombo provides "Money Saving Tips" for constituents, including but certainly not limited to; "Don't Drive Aggressively," "Reduce Air Conditioner Use," and "Turn Down Your Thermostat.' Don't you love being told how to save money and reduce energy use by someone who makes you pay for his vacation, cars, and gives tax break and subsidies to oil companies out of your pocket?
If you don't get the irony yet of Pombo dealing with energy independence maybe this will help;
From Pombo In Their Pocket:
"Richard Pombo has taken over $199,786 in campaign contributions from developers and real estate interests (OpenSecrets.org). He is also one of the largest recipients of oil and gas cash in the entire Congress, taking in nearly $85,000 in his last campaign (OpenSecrets.org). It should be no surprise, therefore, that Pombo has written legislation to benefit big developers, proposed drilling for oil off the coast of California and even proposed selling off 15 national parks to benefit his special interest cronies.
Pombo also has what's known as a leadership PAC, called of all things RICHPAC. RICHPAC took over $400,000 in contributions in 2004 from lobbyists and developers. His most notorious contribution came from the indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff who gave him the legal limit of $5,000. Go to Opensecrets.org and see the entire list of contributors.
Top Industries Supporting Richard Pombo in 2004:
Oil & Gas
Crop Production & Basic Processing
Forestry & Forest Products
And From the DCCC: "POMBO VOTED TO CREATE ROYALTY RELIEF FOR OIL AND GAS COMPANIES
POMBO SPONSORED LEGISLATION THAT EXPANDED ROYALTY RELIEF
POMBO ALSO OPPOSED EFFORTS TO REDUCE ROYALTY RELIEF
POMBO HAS CASHED IN FROM THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY" (Source)
If you're wondering why I said stepped up his mailings AGAIN, this'll help;
"Pombo Sent Partisan Mailing Paid for by Taxpayers Less than One Month Before 2004 Election. As chairman of the House Resources Committee, Pombo used taxpayer money to send out a partisan mailing less than a month before the 2004 election. The 175,000-piece mass mailing went out to residents of Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming and highlighted the politically charged issue of snowmobiles in national parks. The mailing, which used Bush's name five times, vowed that the committee "and the Bush administration are working together to protect your right to ride" on public lands - phrasing that critics charged was intended to persuade voters rather than inform constituents. Recently, lawmakers slapped a $5,000 postage cap on all committees and tightened advance review rules. [Sacramento Bee, 3/17/05; Roll Call, 4/4/05; Contra Costa Times, 5/1/05]
Pombo Asked for Franked Mail Budget 800% Greater Than Any Other Committee. As chairman of the House Resources Committee, Pombo has asked for a franked mail budget of $500,000 for the 108th Congress - of which he received $100,000, an 800 percent increase over the panel's 107th Congress allocation.
Recently, lawmakers have slapped a $5,000 postage cap on all committees and tightened advance review rules. Pombo's mail spending was the reason for the new cap. According to Congressional Quarterly Today, "the restrictions follow a partisan dust-up last year in which Democrats accused Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo of abusing his panel's franking privilege by sending favorable newsletters to the districts of Republicans in close races."
[Sacramento Bee, 3/17/05; Congressional Quarterly Today, 4/21/05]" (Source)
And if you're interested in real Energy Policy, Clean Energy, and Energy Independence; Jerry McNerney has a plan.
Jerry's Energy Policy is what George Lakoff would call a strategic initiative, meaning it would have implications for far more then just energy policy in the same way that conservatives' tax cuts for the rich lead to cuts in social programs and other benifits and "tort reform" leads to unlimited corporate power to do harm to consumers without repercussions, as well as cuts out a major source of funding for the Democratic Party. The obvious difference is that the implications to Jerry McNerney's plan would be positive and progressive and could seriously strengthen our country on so many levels. This to me, shows that Jerry McNerney has vision, and strategy (not to mention expertise.) It also shows that he knows how to frame the debate which is absolutely necessary in facing Pombo, former recipient of the Luntzie.
Jerry's Energy Policy will create jobs and help our economy, create economic stability and strengthen our national security by reducing dependence on foreign oil, and create a cleaner, safer environment and better health as a result. I encourage you to read more about Jerry McNerney's Clean Energy Innovation Here.
From Jerry McNerney's Energy Page;
"The United States needs a "sustainable energy" plan because our economy depends on it, our environmental health requires it, and our position as a global leader requires it. We need a new model for the future and leadership on this issue now, before our reliance on fossil fuels results in a catastrophic collapse of the economy or the environment, or a large scale international conflict over the world's oil reserves.
A central feature of such a plan will be to quickly and significantly reduce our consumption of fossil fuels while promoting a more prosperous economy. Reducing our use of fossil fuels is critical to the long-term national security of the United States, the strength of our economy, the health of our children, and the future of the global environment. Most of the technologies needed to reshape our energy future are at hand; what's lacking is the political will to use them. We can't drill our way out of oil dependency, we have to invent our way out of it. American ingenuity can drive the process and new American jobs will be the dividend.
Jerry McNerney's plan for America's energy future starts with these major steps
Dramatically increase the fuel efficiency of new vehicles.
Provide more public transportation and encourage its use.
Establish federal leadership to increase the efficiency of buildings and electrical appliances building on successful energy-efficiency programs now in place in states like California, New York, and Washington.
Provide clear, reliable incentives (and eliminate disincentives) for the development of renewable energy sources.
Upgrade the nation's electrical infrastructure to be more efficient and reliable.
End subsidies for fossil fuel extraction and instead invest the savings in research and development for renewables as well as efficiency improvement programs.
Reassert U.S. leadership in reducing energy-related pollution, including the generation of greenhouse gases. " (Source)