Update: Senator Murkowski's "No Fossil Fuel Left Behind" bill to lift the ban on exporting crude oil has made its way out of committee. Click here to tell your Senators not to be greased by Murkowski's OILigarchy.
Oil Baroness Lisa Murkowski's bill to lift a 40 year ban on exporting crude oil and open up new swaths of U.S. waters to oil and gas drilling has cleared a major hurdle. You already know the bill slid its way through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which Murkowski chairs. But despite the controversial measures contained in the bill, enough Senators were greased to vote "yes" after only 20 minutes of debate.1
Seriously? 20 minutes to debate a bill that would remove the moratorium for offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, open up drilling in the Atlantic Ocean and Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and accelerate drilling in the fragile Arctic? My commute to work takes longer than that! But Murkowski is not as slick as she thinks. While she touts the same tired talking points about creating jobs, lowering energy prices and energy independence, her real impetus for introducing bill comes down to one thing: Cash Money.
That's because under the bill, her home state of Alaska, along with southern coastal states and gulf south region states (all with Republican Senators) would see increased revenue from oil companies.2 It's nothing more than an Extreme Energy Dash For Cash ponzoil scheme.
The good news is environmental champions like Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) have already vowed to block Murkowski's bill. Nelson said, "If any measure to repeal the current moratorium on offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico comes before the full senate for a vote, I will use all available procedural options to block it."3
But while support for a filibuster is growing, so is Murkowski's OILigarchy: Last Friday, House Speaker John Boehner announced his support for lifting the oil export ban, and his lieutenants have promised a hearing on this disastrous plan as soon as they return from summer recess4 -- We can't let that happen. Will you contact your senators and tell them not to be greased by Murskowski?
Even though scientists around the world consistently tell us we must keep at least 80 percent of fossil fuels underground to prevent the most devastating effects of climate disruption, Murkowski is doing all she can to extract every last drop. It's this type of attitude that's forced a young group of climate champions from Our Children's Trust to actually file a lawsuit against the federal government for causing climate change and violating the youngest generation's constitutional rights to life, liberty and property.5
I usually describe Congress as acting like a bunch of children, but after reading about the lawsuit, it's clear that even our children are acting more responsibly than some members of the Senate. Even a child can see what bills like Murkowski's would do to the climate. We should demand the same of our lawmakers.
Murkowski's plan to extract even more fossil fuels and increase climate killing emissions is exactly what these precocious champions are suing over. And it's going to take more than one senator like Nelson to bury Murkowski's bill and keep it in the ground next to the fossil fuels she's trying to extract. We need to let every Senator know, while they are home for August on recess, that when it comes to oil exports, The Ban Must Stand.
Click here to make sure they get the message.
Thanks for standing up for our climate,
Anthony and the Environmental Action Keep It In The Ground Crew
1. Cama, Timothy. Senate Panel Votes To Lift Oil Export Ban. The Hill. July 30, 2015.
2. Garnder, Timothy and Volcovici, Valerie. Senate Energy Panel Lifts Oil Export Ban. Reuters. July 30, 2015.
3. Snow, Nick. Nelson Vows To Block Murkowski's Stand-Alone Crude Oil Bill. Oil and Gas Journal. August 10, 2015.
4. Speaker's Press Office, Speaker Boehner on the July 2015 Unemployment Report, August 7, 2015
5. Dokoupil, Tony. 'Future Generations' Sue Obama Administration Over Climate Change. MSNBC. August 12, 2015.