Arianna Huffington’s blog has the disturbing follow up to the scandal of Congress and big oil’s love affair. See my report of 2/19/07 for the original report of the huge gift the lame duck Republican congress gave big oil by not charging for their government leases. The Democrats promised to fix this outrageous $10 Billion dollar windfall the Republican Congress had provided. A bill was passed in the house which which would require the oil industry to pay royalties from their offshore drilling on government leased ocean bottoms. As the Huffington blog points out the Interior Department’s Inspector General called the Congressional failure to charge the oil industry "a jaw dropping example of bureaucratic bungling." Huffington also points out the oil industry spent $72.5 million dollars last year in lobbying Congress and Congress has repaid the money with political favors.
But, what’s disturbing is the bill to correct this scandalous windfall gift has bogged down in the Democratic Senate due to Democratic senators. Senator Feinstein (D-Calif) and Senator Bingaman (D-New Mexico) are dragging their feet and trying to water down the bill. The Huffington blog says Bingaman receives more oil lobbying money then any other Senate Democrat and that Feinstein is also a recipient of substantial oil contributions as well. Both deny the oil money gifts they receive affect their decision making, but what do you think? So here we have two Democrats acting in the same dishonorable way the Republican congressional leaders have behaved when they pocked oil money. I had hoped for honesty and change from the "business as usual" politicians when Democrats were elected.