Letter to the Editor: Big Oil Is A Criminal Enterprise

I wrote a letter on the subject of oil exports without realizing that congress was about to pass legislation eliminating the oil export ban. My letter was published in the Pulse after the legislation passed. It was published a day late and a dollar short, but I appreciate the Pulse’s having published anyway.

If you are one of the many disgruntled voters who are unhappy with the Republican establishment, think about this legislation. The recent 2016 funding legislation passed by Congress funded Planned Parenthood, funded Obama Care, funded No child Left Behind, increased the national deficit by billions, and further included a host of the Tea Party’s most hated legislation. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced in a news conference upon passing the legislation that the Republican Party did get what they wanted in exchange, lifting the ban on crude oil exports. That was the Republican Party’s number one objective, lifting the ban on oil exports. Their number one objective was not listening to their constituents. Our Republican Congressman, and our Republican Senator, both Tea Party darlings, both voted for this betrayal. This goes a long way toward explaining Donald Trump’s popularity and why both these politicians should be dumped.

There are few people who oppose regulating the harvesting of timber in national forests and on parklands. There are few people who oppose the regulation of fishing, hunting game animals, hunting geese and ducks even though in this case most of these birds are born and bred in another country. All of these resources are renewable resources. But the energy industry faces no corresponding limitations, and yet crude oil and natural gas are finite resources. When America’s oil and natural gas are gone, they are gone, forever. Future generations be damned.

As a natural resource, crude oil and natural gas are the foundation product for much of America’s value added production. Fertilizers, chemicals, pesticides, gasoline, fuel oil, heating oil, jet fuel, steel and aluminum production, agricultural crops such as corn and wheat, electricity, these are all value added products using raw energy as their basic commodity input. All these industries create jobs, and add to the wealth, economic viability and military strength of America.

The Republican legislation to export our raw commodity, crude oil, undercuts all these industries and all these jobs. It puts our raw material in the hands of low cost processors, some who are enemies, who will turn around and export value added products back to the US, undercutting all these jobs and industries, including refineries.

When you think of a politician being sold, who do you think is buying them? It is the oil industry starting with our own governor who is in their pocket. What do you think Koch is?

Big tobacco in its day was once a huge criminal enterprise, buying politicians and killing our citizens in uncountable numbers. Big oil is the criminal industry of today, buying politicians, undercutting our economy by exporting our natural resources, and polluting our atmosphere and waters causing untold death and suffering.

It is time we recognize that big oil and big tobacco are corrupt brothers and that we deal with big oil as we dealt with big tobacco. Reinstate the ban on crude oil exports, eliminate the depletion allowance tax subsidy, accelerate the development of renewable resources, and prohibit big oil from engaging in active political involvement. Big oil is a criminal enterprise and should be regulated as such.


Jim Riead

Egg Harbor, Wis.

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