Alaska Melts While Its Senator Collects Energy Company Money

It’s no great secret the state of Alaska is shrinking due to global warming. Large swaths of coastline and tundra are disappearing. The ocean keeps encroaching and entire communities watch as their way of life also slips away.

You’d think Alaskan Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski would want to do something about it. Actually she is – if you work for an energy company.

According to Ms. Murkowski’s Mischief, NY Times Editorial, 1-19-10 she wants to “block for one year any effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. This would prevent the administration from finalizing its new and much-needed standards for cars and light trucks and prevent it from regulating greenhouse gases from stationary sources.”

The editorial also notes she’s considering a “ ‘resolution of disapproval’ that would ask the Senate to overturn the E.P.A.’s recent ‘endangerment finding’ that carbon dioxide and other global warming gases threaten human health and the environment. This finding flowed from a 2007 Supreme Court decision and is an essential precondition to any regulation governing greenhouse gases. Rescinding the finding would repudiate years of work by America’s scientists and public health experts.”

If you look at whom Senator Murkowski’s top five campaign contributors are during the past five years you’ll see she’s disregarding the health and safety of her state to simply please her financial backers (and it sure would have been nice if the NY Times pointed this out.)

According to The Center for Responsive Politics Opensecrets.org she’s awash in money from energy and energy-related companies. Just click on the link above and check it out (and it’s shocking to see Exxon Mobil coming in at number five!)

It is imperative we get public and corporate money out of politics to save what’s left of our democracy (for more on this see Ban Political Advertising To Restore Our Democracy.) Senator Murkowski is par for the course and stuffed inside the pockets of her campaign contributors along with every other politician. And I don’t think you’ll find the words “campaign contribution” in our Constitution.

The NY Times editorial closes by noting how Democrats want to add some energy-related measures to the approved cap-and-trade plan to try and garner more support for the bill.

Senator Murkowski is ready with a plan of her own to try and derail it. “Knowing that the bill is not ripe, Ms. Murkowski may bring it up for a vote anyway as an amendment to the debt bill. Why? To shoot it down. The tactic would give us a “barometric reading” of where the Senate stands on cap-and-trade, one Murkowski staffer said recently. What it really gives us is a reading on how little the senator — or for that matter, her party — has to offer.”

And I can hear the pens in the hands of the energy company executives scrawling across their checkbooks as they pay off more politicians – while Alaska melts.

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