Posts tagged oil
Posts tagged oil
Daryl Hannah arrested for protesting proposed Canadian oilsands pipeline
Actress Daryl Hannah, famous for her movie roles in Splash and Wall Street, was among dozens of anti-oilsands activists arrested Tuesday at the White House in ongoing “sit in” protests against TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
“Stop the Keystone pipeline,” Hannah shouted as she was being handcuffed by SWAT team officers. “No to the Keystone pipeline.” (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Way to go, Elle Driver!
BTW, if you want to know more about this whole mess, from A to Z, check out Kate Sheppard’s explainer:
James Hansen, NASA scientist and perhaps the leading authority on climate change, was also arrested.
In a move that opponents saw as little more than campaign posturing, Democrats in the Senate voted on May 17, 2011 to cut back on tax breaks to the top 5 oil companies — a vote that was supported by the Obama administration and, if it had passed, would have gone a long way toward fulfilling President Barack Obama’s campaign promise.
Called the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, the bill sought to repeal about $21 billion worth of tax breaks to oil companies over 10 years with the stipulation that all revenues generated would be used to reduce the federal budget deficit or the public debt. The five companies targeted were: Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, ConocoPhillips and BP.
The Senate voted 52-48 in favor of moving the bill forward, meaning it failed to get the 60 votes needed to bring the measure up for debate. Votes largely broke along party lines, with all but two Republicans and three Democrats voting against it.
Republicans argued that repealing the tax breaks would discourage domestic oil production and, ultimately, drive up the price of gasoline. Many Republicans dismissed the vote as a 2012 campaign place-marker for the Democrats, establishing a talking point that Republicans favor tax breaks for big oil at a time when the country is in the midst of a debt crisis.
"This bill is just pure political demagoguery," said Sen. David Vitter, R-La., according to a story in the Los Angeles Times.
"Excuse me if I don’t cry for Exxon," countered Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Ca. "How long do you have to give corporate welfare to oil companies?"
The GOP leadership doesn’t care about the debt or the deficit, they only pretend to for political points. If they wanted to they could increase revenue to the government by billions overnight, but instead they insist it’s better left in the hands of the Oil Oligarchy.
Cables released by Wikileaks demonstrate that control of the world’s strategic energy reserves has always been a key factor in the direction of the “War on Terror”.
Among the batch of classified diplomatic cables recently released by the controversial whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, several have highlighted the vast extent of the financial infrastructure of Islamist terrorism sponsored by key U.S. allies in the ongoing “War on Terror.”
One cable by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in December 2009 notes that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” Despite this, “Riyadh has taken only limited action to disrupt fundraising for the UN 1267-listed Taliban and LeT [Lashkar e-Tayyiba] groups that are also aligned with al-Qaeda.”
Clinton raises similar concerns about other states in the Gulf and Central Asia. Kuwait remains reluctant “to take action against Kuwait-based financiers and facilitators plotting attacks outside of Kuwait.” The United Arab Emirates is “vulnerable to abuse by terrorist financiers and facilitation networks” due to lack of regulatory oversight. Qatar’s cooperation with U.S. counter-terrorism is the “worst in the region,” and authorities are “hesitant to act against known terrorists.” Pakistani military intelligence officials “continue to maintain ties with a wide array of extremist organizations, in particular the Taliban [and the] LeT.”
Despite such extensive knowledge of these terrorism financing activities, successive U.S. administrations have not only failed to exert military or economic pressure on these countries, but in fact have actively protected them, funneling billions of dollars of military and economic assistance. The reason is oil.
Afghanistan provides a rather revealing example. From 1994 to 2001, assisted by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the Clinton and Bush II administrations covertly sponsored, flirted and negotiated with the Taliban as a vehicle of regional influence. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, former White House Special Assistant to Ronald Reagan, also testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on South Asia about the “covert policy that has empowered the Taliban,” in the hopes of bringing sufficient stability to “permit the building of oil pipelines from Central Asia through Afghanistan to Pakistan.”
The Great Game is still in full swing. “Since the U.S.-led offensive that ousted the Taliban from power, the project has been revived and drawn strong U.S. support” reported the Associated Press in 2005. “The pipeline would allow formerly Soviet Central Asian nations to export rich energy resources without relying on Russian routes. The project’s main sponsor is the Asian Development Bank” – in which the United States is the largest shareholder alongside Japan. It so happens that the southern section of the proposed pipeline runs through territory still under de facto Taliban control, where NATO war efforts are focused.
Other evidence demonstrates that control of the world’s strategic energy reserves has always been a key factor in the direction of the “War on Terror”. For instance, the April 2001 study commissioned by then-Vice President Dick Cheney confirmed official fears of an impending global oil supply crunch, energy shortages, and “the need for military intervention” in the Middle East to maintain stability.
More details in the article, including information on our relationship to Saudi Arabia and Iran.