Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rep. Issa's Latest Fishing Expedition Targets Cape Wind

Can a Congressman who's been unable to break open a big Obama administration scandal turn his luck around by investigating Cape Wind? Fortunately for people who enjoy things like breathing clean air and going to work building wind turbines, it doesn't look good for Rep. Darrell Issa.

Rep. Issa has spent much of the last two years using his position as chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in a desperate search for something - anything - to embarrass the Obama administration. Issa came into the chairmanship brashly predicting he'd take down climate scientists, but that's gone absolutely nowhere. In fact, Issa has had so little luck, the Obama administration's lack of scandals has become a story in itself.

But fortunately for Rep. Issa, when you're a member of Congress, past investigative failures don't preclude future fishing expeditions! And it's no coincidence Issa is fronting this fight - the big polluting Koch family is leading the charge against Cape Wind and some Issa's staffers have Koch links:
Several have ties to billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, who have made much of their fortune in oil and chemical businesses and have established a reputation as staunch small-government conservatives. Their influence through campaign contributions, lobbying and nonprofit groups--such as Americans for Prosperity, an activist organization with connections to the Tea Party movement--has become more pronounced since the shift in power in the House last November.
Rep. Issa has long been a champion of polluting interests. Issa has taken more than $376,000 from electric utilities and the oil & gas industry. 

And if there's any question about whether Issa's latest pole in the water is political, just check out where the news broke - with a long exclusive story in the far-right Boston Herald.

Wind Park in the HazeCape Wind has now been going through the federal regulatory review process for an astonishing 11 years. With multiple points for public input along the way, it's been vetted by, among others:
  • The Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board
  • The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • The Massachusetts Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs
  • The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation & Enforcement
  • The Federal Aviation Administration
As The Daily Show pointed out, it should've been approved long ago, but its opponents are really, really rich. And now here comes Rep. Issa, by far the richest member of Congress according to OpenSecrets.org with an average estimated net worth of $448 million.

It needs to be asked by someone not named the Boston Herald: Who's Rep. Issa really looking out for here? The American public? Or Issa's wealthy, politically connected friends?
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