Champions oil above everything else for campaign donors

Matt Garrington, Denver-based co-director of The Checks and Balances Project, offered the following statement and facts regarding today’s hearing on Thursday’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on an all of the above energy policy:

“Chairman Darrell Issa’s (R-Cal.) own words show that his idea of an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy is all about oil and gas. Issa has called government investment in renewable energy ‘reckless bets with taxpayer funds,’ but you never hear him speak against the billions in taxpayer dollars that every year pour into “traditional energy products” like oil and gas.

“We’re already seeing record oil drilling, and it’s not enough. A true ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy includes proven, renewable technologies like solar and wind. Chairman Issa’s energy strategy will make us more dependent on oil and more vulnerable to price shocks at the pump.

“Instead of using his position as head of the House’s government reform arm to help modernize our nation’s energy infrastructure, Chairman Issa prefers to give oil executives, mouthpieces and front group pundits a chance to speak on the record.”

“You won’t see representatives of successful solar and wind companies, auto manufacturers building high-tech vehicles, or cutting-edge researchers creating the next generation of renewable fuels testifying at Chairman Issa’s hearing. These stakeholders don’t fill Issa’s campaign coffers, so they don’t get a seat at the table.”

Today’s witnesses include:*

  • Charles Drevna, President of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, who in 2010 gave $1,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee;
  • Michael Krancer, Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, who since 2008 has given $7,750 to Republicans, most of that to Congressional candidates;
  • Peter Glaser, partner at Troutman Sanders LLP, who since 2007 has given $4,300 to Republican candidates, and
  • Kathleen Sgamma, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Western Energy Alliance, an oil and gas-funded group whose PAC has given $71,337 to Republican politicians since 2007.

*All contribution amounts according to FEC records at www.fec.gov

Facts about American energy production:

  • Drilling activity reached its highest level under the Obama administration than at any point since the Reagan administration.
  • According to a May 2012 Interior Department report, the oil and gas industry had conducted production or exploration activities on just 56% of public lands leased in the U.S. In fact, the oil and gas industry is sitting on more than 20 million acres of idle lands already leased for development.
  • As of January 25, 2012, the oil and gas industry had 6,500 unused drilling permits for federal lands and a total of 7,000 unused drilling permits for both federal and Indian lands.
  • Renewable energy such as wind and solar power has nearly doubled since 2008.
  • This summer, the White House is expected to finalize an agreement with automakers to set an unprecedented fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by 2025. This plan will save car and truck drivers $1.7 trillion at the pump or about $8,000 per vehicle.