Thursday, September 14, 2006

Clinton and Big Oil (updated)

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Bill Clinton gave the oil industry a big fat kiss with tongue and it's going to cost us:

Devaney was asked to investigate a controversy that's been brewing on Capitol Hill for months over what critics call a giant giveaway to the major oil companies.

The giveaway, according to the critics, stems from leases issued by the government to oil companies in the late 1990s that exempted them from paying royalties on deepwater drilling, regardless of how much profit they ultimately reaped from that exploration.

The issue has taken on heightened urgency in the wake of the recent discovery of huge new oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico. The federal government could lose more than a billion dollars in royalty payments from this new source alone. Over the long term, the leases could cost the government as much as $20 billion, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office.

That money could be used to pay down the deficit or give us a little additional tax cut. Instead, Clinton gave it to the mean nasty big oil companies. It's all about the oil!

What would the outcry be like if it had been Bush who had given the oil companies this sweetheart deal?

Update: Why not include Hillary's latest shady deal disclosure:

WASHINGTON -- In the spring, when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was denouncing the Dubai Ports World deal, a consulting firm run by her top advisers was quietly lobbying for a Dubai takeover of two U.S. defense plants, Newsday has learned.

The Glover Park Group, whose principals include Clinton insiders Howard Wolfson, Joe Lockhart and Gigi Georges, was paid about $100,000 to help the government-owned Dubai International Capital Corp. in its acquisition of the British engineering firm Doncasters Group Ltd.

Will we hear from those who screamed about the ports deal? I'm not holding my breath.

Of course Chucky Schumer is involved:

Clinton and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who helped to sink the takeover of port operations by a Dubai company, supported the Doncasters acquisition, saying it didn't pose nearly as significant a security threat.

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