Richard Pombo: More Assaults on the Environment
Richard Pombo has already established himself as the most rabid anti-environmentalist of the past few decades. He makes James Watt (Reagan’s Interior Secretary) look like a treehugger.
He can slow down and quit gunning for new records any time now. But he probably won’t be happy as long as there are any messy trees or yucky animals still polluting his world.
Pombo has added an amendment to a House budget bill. This amendment would open up part of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
His amendment will also jeopardize the entire West Coast’s longtime moratorium on oil drilling. Most residents of California, Oregon and Washington — regardless of their political views — are united in their opposition to drilling off the coast. A Sierra Club director said “this is the first time that we’ve seen a member of the California delegation selling out the California coast to off-shore drilling.”
California has had a moratorium on offshore drilling since 1982. Since then, similar moratoriums have spread to almost every coastal state.
If Richard Pombo is California’s answer to Benedict Arnold, Florida has their own version. Baby Brother Jeb has endorsed Pombo’s legislation, shattering the longtime alliance of coastal states. The Bush Crime Family must have some sort of backstabbing gene.
Following the standard Republican M.O., Pombo has attached his bill to a federal budget package, instead of allowing the bill to be voted on separately. The legislative director of the Alaska Wilderness League said “what he’s really saying is, ‘I’m afraid to do this in the light of day, and I want to sneak it into the budget process.’ ”
The co-chairman of the National Outer Continental Shelf Coalition said “you have a carefully constructed assault on every coastal state. It’s pretty much the oil and gas industry’s wish list.”
Nick Rahall, D-W. Virginia, said “I cannot comprehend the brilliance behind opening up our federal coastal resources to the whims of cash-strapped states. I was under the impression that destructive forces threatening our coastal resources and communities originated in the Atlantic Ocean, not Washington, D.C.”