It is common knowledge that Republicans engage in misinformation campaigns to curry favor with their supporters whether they are special interest groups, lobbyists, or ignorant Americans unwilling or unable to verify their favorite standard bearer’s statements. Over the past two or three months, Republican machinations to expedite construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline have tied the project to 160 million American’s payroll tax cut extension with fallacious job creation numbers and promises of lower gas prices to force President Obama to grant a construction permit. Speaker of the House John Boehner is TransCanada and the oil industry’s point man on the project and his persistence at parroting wildly inflated jobs numbers provoked a petition demanding his resignation or expulsion from Congress. Last Tuesday, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels joined Boehner in pushing the pipeline during Republican’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union address using anti-Obama rhetoric to enrich the oil industry and Canada’s tar sand industry.
Daniels’ pernicious remarks are standard fare for Republicans seeking to portray the President as a detriment to economic growth, and he said President Obama’s extremism “cancels a perfectly safe pipeline that would employ tens of thousands,” and that his decision was a “pro-poverty agenda.” Besides Daniels’ programmed anti-Obama rhetoric, his remark about the pipeline’s safety and job creation numbers are false according to TransCanada and many independent agencies, but there is more to Daniels’ pack of lies that is stunning and warrants outrage from Indiana taxpayers.
According to recent disclosures, Daniels is part of a concerted Republican effort to lobby Congress to push the tar sands pipeline through prime agricultural land and over the Ogallala Aquifer that supplies groundwater for 20% of America’s agriculture and drinking water for 2 million Americans. It is despicable that Daniels lied to Americans about the pipeline, but it is beyond the pale that his lobbying effort is being funded with Indiana resident’s tax dollars.
Think Progress reports that Indiana’s Washington D.C. representatives were paid with taxpayer dollars to lobby Congress during the fourth quarter of 2011 including “advocacy of the tar sands pipeline.” The Indiana Petroleum Council has pushed the Keystone XL pipeline even though it is unlikely that any Indiana residents will work on its construction. It is one thing to push the pipeline if it created jobs for Indiana residents and one would expect the state to actively lobby for any project to help the unemployed, but not only are there no jobs for Indiana residents, the pipeline does not even pass through Indiana. And yet Indiana taxpayer’s are funding the oil industry’s lobbying effort at a time when Governor Daniels and Republican state legislators have slashed spending for programs like Medicaid and most recently, full day kindergarten and the state fair. Apparently, for Daniels and Republicans in Indiana, it is better to spend tax dollars to enrich the oil industry than fund children’s health, higher education, and K-12 education that suffered Republican’s deep spending cuts.
It is still unclear what, besides oil industry campaign contributions, Daniels stands to gain pushing the Keystone pipeline, especially in light of mounting evidence it is an ill-advised project. Up to this point, only Republicans in the employ of the oil industry and those with stock in Canadian tar sand companies are pushing the project, but even the GOP’s media outlet, Fox News, labeled the Keystone XL pipeline a “bad deal all along.” Fox News said President Obama was right to nix the pipeline and that “rejecting the Keystone XL deal was the best decision possible” despite Republicans “trying to force his hand” with an artificial deadline. Fox reiterated six reasons the pipeline was a bad deal and they enumerate the primary reasons critics of the project have stated from the before the GOP’s extortion attempt during the payroll tax cut extension fight in December.
It is obvious there is no length Republicans will avoid to enrich the oil industry and Mitch Daniels is the latest target of an investigation to determine what financial gain he will reap if the pipeline is built. However, the people of Indiana should exert severe pressure on Daniels to come clean and admit he was lying about the pipeline, resign, and repay residents for using their tax dollars to promote a project with no benefit to Indiana residents. The pipeline’s proponents are exclusively Republicans and oil industry giants such as Koch Industries, the American Petroleum Institute, and now, the Indiana Petroleum Council, and Indiana residents are footing part of the bill to lobby Congress on behalf of the oil industry.
Americans will never get a better look at the depth of depravity Republicans sink to for the oil industry and Boehner, Daniels, and the rest of Republican oil industry whores deserve to be thrown out of office. John Boehner is feeling pressure from critics and a potentially devastating SEC investigation to the point that he shifted his job creation claims to included “indirect” jobs that Jason Easley critically analyzed yesterday. One thing is certain; if any Republican has made fallacious job creation claims and holds stock in TransCanada, Valero, or Canadian tar sand companies, their name will join Boehner’s on petitions calling for their immediate resignation and admission to the American people that they deliberately lied for personal financial gain and future oil industry campaign contributions.
Concerned Americans are signing the petition to force House Speaker John Boehner to resign or face expulsion by an ethics panel after he admits lying about job numbers to bolster stock prices as well as gain financial rewards. The warning to Indiana governor Mitch Daniels is that if he wants to avoid a recall drive, he must admit to lying and repay, with interest, Indiana taxpayers for using their money to lobby Congress on behalf of the oil industry. Americans have had enough of Republican malfeasance to enrich the oil industry and they are prepared to evict every one of the oil whores.