I can’t believe how many mind-boggling things are packed into this short story on Arctic Power, the lobbying group devoted to getting oil companies access to ANWR.
Let us begin.Arctic Power is funded in part by the state government of Alaska. Whaaa?! Did other people know this? I didn’t. Arctic Power’s members include some of the richest oil companies on the planet, although BP dropped out a while ago, and ConocoPhillips dropped out a few weeks ago, leaving mainly ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil — but still, they can’t afford to do their own lobbying?
Alaska has given Arctic Power about $9 million since 1992. Whaaa?! How much money does it take to bribe Congressfolk these days?
Despite the $9 million, which has accomplished nothing, Arctic Power is asking the Alaska legislature for $1.1 million more. Whaaa?! How much taxpayer money is enough to an organization with nothing to show for it?
The Alaska legislature has no oversight over how the money is spent and no audit of the group’s books is publicly available. Why not? “The financial report is not released because those opposing ANWR drilling would try to use the document against the group’s lobbying effort, [Arctic Power Executive Director Kevin] Hand said.” Whaaa?! If the way they spent their money was made public, it would look bad … so that’s a reason to keep it secret?
So here we have an oil industry group, fattened on millions of dollars from the very taxpayers whose land they want to defile, totally unaccountable to the taxpayers or the legislature that funds it, with the sole purpose of spending money to influence legislation before the U.S. Congress that majorities of Americans consistently oppose, and, on top of it all, failing!
The coup de grace: “[Hand] noted that Arctic Power is outfunded many times over by environmental groups.” Aw, the lobbying group bloated on oil and taxpayer money is outfunded by groups who get donations from hundreds of thousands of concerned individuals. Is that a violin I hear?