Oil corporations bought conditional senior water rights to 7.2 million acre-feet of water earlier this week. Why? So they can potentially use the water in the future to drill for oil in shale in Western Colorado. Some things come to mind: diverting water from the Front Range to drill for oil in shale won’t go over well if it ever happens; diverting water from downriver states won’t go over well either (read: tons of litigation); oil shale development won’t be viable for decades – by that time, I don’t think we’ll need the oil.
A foundational health care bill passed out of a Colorado House committee Wednesday. Somehow, the Cons think double-digit insurance rate increases year after year should be totally loved by everybody. The reality is far from that. People are justifiably upset with for-profit insurance that doesn’t deliver care. The bill still has to pass the House Appropriations Committee before going to the full House.
Colorado’s newest Senators might be deciding to go the pro-corporatist, non-progressive route in Congress. Sens. Udall and Bennet have joined a gang in Washington (just like the Senator Bennet replaced, Ken Salazar) that tries to sell itself as ‘centrist’. I’m going to be very clear about this: the difference between most Senate Democrats and the Senate Cons isn’t a lovely place called centrism. If they want to join the Cons in their assault on the American worker and our economy, they’re free to do so. Colorado voters are similarly free to examine their efforts and decide if Udall and Bennet are who they want in the Senate. Joining a gang isn’t the worst thing that can happen. But if Udall or Bennet decide to vote like Salazar did – if they develop a clear pattern of voting against Colorado citizens’ best interests, I won’t hesitate to call them on it or work to get somebody else elected in the next election. I was reasonably sure Udall would do this – it remains to be seen how he votes.
Yesterday’s paper version of the Denver Post had a full-page, color ad that lied to readers. It claimed new energy taxes were going to be passed soon by Congress. They provided a website that is full of pro-industy spin and very short on facts. The fossil fuel industry has enjoyed years’ worth of tax loopholes – they’ve cheated the U.S. out of billions of tax dollars. Now that real public anger has bubbled to the surface over fuel costs; now that the public is demanding fossil fuel corporations finally pay their fair share; after years of not developing refining infrastructure but buying up 60 million acres of land that isn’t being drilled, how does the industry respond? With full page ads and websites, part of a multi-million dollar marketing campaign. Remember that when fuel prices shoot back up this summer. And remember this too: fuel corporations were making tens of billions of dollars of profit every three months last year while telling everyone that they couldn’t produce anymore product. The fact is, they refuse to produce more. They’ve refused to do it for a long, long time. Americans are ready to move to a post-fossil fuel era. And that scares the hell out of the industry.