Campaign 2010

Jul 18, 2008

White House Funds Big Oil Ambassadors Junket to ANWR

Bush Administration Funds Elaborate Photo-Op that will Advocate for Big Oil's Agenda

 

In a campaign style stunt, Minority Leader John Boehner leads a caravan of Big Oil-backed freshmen Republicans who opposed the DRILL bill on a White House approved, taxpayer-funded junket to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Elaborate photo-ops are nothing new for the Bush White House (remember "Mission Accomplished?"), but it's reckless to spend taxpayers' dollars on a political stunt that benefits the interests of their Big Oil contributors, while doing nothing for middle class Americans struggling to fill their tanks.

 

"Who better to be ambassadors for President Bush's Big Oil agenda than a group of Republicans who have accepted more than a quarter of a million dollars in campaign contributions from Big Oil?" asked Doug Thornell, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Republican ANWR photo-ops don't change the fact that it would take 20 years to see a two penny drop in gas prices. Instead of wasting the taxpayers' dollars on a campaign style stunt supporting President Bush and Big Oil's agenda, Minority Leader Boehner and the Big Oil Ambassadors should support bi-partisan efforts to expand domestic drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska to lower gas prices for families."

 

Big Oil Ambassadors:

 

Since 2007, the Big Oil Ambassadors on the ANWR trip have been handsomely rewarded for their loyalty to President Bush's Big Oil agenda receiving over $250,000 from the Oil and Gas Industry.  [opensecrets.org, accessed 7/17/08]:

 

John Boehner (OH-08)

$35,000

Michele Bachmann (MN-06)

$13,500

Gus Bilirakis (FL-09)

$17,100

Mary Fallin (OK-05)

$78,950

Dean Heller (NV-02)

$15,000

Jim Jordan (OH-04)

$11,000

Bob Latta (OH-05)

$27,250

Doug Lamborn (CO-05)

$24,000

Kevin McCarthy (CA-22)

$16,000

Steve Scalise (LA-01)

$10,800

Adrian Smith (NE-03)

$4,250

 

 

Total

$252,850

 

 

BACKGROUND:

 

  • Since President Bush took office, the average gas price in America has nearly tripled from $1.47 a gallon on January 22, 2001 to $4.11 today. [AAA's Fuel Gage Report; http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/]

 

  • "The White House has agreed to foot the bill for this delegation because the absence of any Democrats means it would not qualify as an official congressional delegation, according to aides in both parties." [Politico, 7/17/08]

 

  • Every Big Oil Ambassador on this trip voted against the Drill Responsibly in Leased Lands (DRILL) Act, which would open up the 20 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska for more domestic drilling and would also force oil companies to increase production on the 68 million acres of federal land already leased by Big Oil. [H.R. 6515 Roll Call Vote #511]