Tea Party Flacks Are Drill, Baby, Drill Messengers Too
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The money link between the campaign for offshore drilling and the Tea Party campaign was the billionaire Koch brothers and their private oil behemoth, Koch Industries, America's second-largest private company and one of the country's worst oil polluters.
The Kochs had good reason to back both offshore drilling and the Tea Party movement, and then want to hush it all up after the BP spill: that's because Koch Industries has a history of horrific oil spills right here in America.
Greenpeace recently published a list of Koch Industries disasters, which reads like a crime dossier on deregulation. Last year, for example, a Koch subsidiary was ordered to pay out half a billion dollars to fix environmental violations; while a decade ago, in 2000, Koch was fined for causing 300 spills and charted with releasing 91 tons of a known carcinogen from a Texas Refinery, leading to a $350 million fine (which Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft discounted down to $20 million). And just a few weeks ago, the Dallas Morning News reported that the EPA took over the licensing process from Texas for a Koch refinery, which is accused of gross violations of the Clean Air Act.
So let's go over this again: Not only was the Tea Party movement supported by oil industry money, especially Koch Industries, but it was organized by the same people who Tea Partied Congress into opening up America's coastline to unlimited oil drilling. The Tea Party did that -- they manipulated and frightened Washington into giving them all the pristine American coastline that a billionaire could ever dream of poisoning, and then some. On top of that, the free-market advocacy groups at the center of the Tea Party movement are responsible for the systematic destruction of government regulation, which made a disaster like the Gulf spill inevitable.
So remember that when you look at the poisoned Gulf of Mexico, and the ruined beaches of Florida: That's the Tea Party Vision turned into our reality. The gang running the Tea Party movement has some direct responsibility for the catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, maybe more so than BP itself. No wonder the Tea Party crowd is staying out of sight and hoping everyone's forgotten. They've been talking about dumping tea, but all along they've been dumping oil, and now we're finding out just how "maverick" and "anti-establishment" their movement really is.
Keep this in mind the next time the mainstream media sucks up to the Teabaggers as some sort of "authentic America" anti-establishment movement: it was born in offshore oil drilling, and America is now dying from offshore drilling.