Thursday, January 31, 2013

Should Obama Pick Polluter Lobbyist to Lead Interior Department?

Smoke Gets in Your EyesSen. Mary Landrieu is floating former Sen. Blanche Lincoln to follow Ken Salazar as Interior Secretary, reports Phil Taylor of E&E News (subscription required). When we last saw Blanche Lincoln, she was trying to screw over ordinary Americans in an attempt to save her own seat, fighting clean air laws and opposing the public option as part of Obamacare. She lost by 21 points anyway, then became a lobbyist for a firm that represented Koch Industries, among others.

Lincoln left that job to work for the "National Federation of Independent Business," a front group backed by a who's who of corporate activists from Karl Rove to ALEC that gives 97% of its political contributions to Republicans. (This is where I should again remind you that we're supposed to believe Blanche Lincoln is a member of the Democratic Party.)

So whose interests is Lincoln fighting for with NFIB?
Lincoln currently leads NFIB's Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations coalition, a campaign that was launched in 2011 to spare businesses from federal rules, including U.S. EPA proposals at the time to curb smog and set emissions standards for the boilers that provide power and heat to many industrial plants (E&ENews PM, Aug. 3, 2011).

As senator, Lincoln was among 35 lawmakers who signed a letter to Salazar urging him to adopt a George W. Bush-era proposal that would have opened several Atlantic and Pacific coast regions to oil and gas drilling (E&ENews PM, Sept. 21, 2009).

Lincoln, who was chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, was also the co-sponsor of a bill to allow visitors to national parks and wildlife refuges to carry concealed firearms, codifying what was then a new Interior Department rule put on hold by a federal judge (E&ENews PM, April 3, 2009).
Sounds like the perfect steward for America's public air, lands and waters, don't you think?

Why would President Obama nominate someone who's pro-pollution, pro-risky oil drilling, and pro-guns-everywhere to head the Interior Department? If Obama were to nominate Blanche Lincoln as Interior Secretary, why not give up the pretense of democratic elections and just turn over Interior to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Exxon Mobil?

Fortunately, I have heard Blanche Lincoln's name nowhere else and it seems like Mary Landrieu is just trying to do a solid for an old friend. Landrieu's up for re-election in 2014 and if her bid falls short, I'd be gobsmacked if she herself wasn't working alongside Lincoln in the polluter lobbying industry in two years.
Post a Comment