As President, Barack Obama has expanded offshore drilling for oil and gas far more than George W. Bush ever did. Obama has made huge lengths of America’s coastline vulnerable to oil spills by opening up massive areas of ocean to exploitation by Big Oil, even in the Arctic.
For the Republicans in the House of Representatives, it’s still not enough. So, the House Republicans are pushing forward a pair of bills, the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act and the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, to force yet more offshore drilling. In order to serve the interests of Big Oil, congressional Republicans are even putting aside their anti-Mexican xenophobia to organize a kind of open border at sea, where employees from oil companies in both the USA and Mexico will be crossing national boundaries to help each other suck as goopy fossil fuel out of the ocean floor as fast as possible.
Particularly crude is the provision in the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act that would provide a special shield from public scrutiny for oil companies working along the US-Mexico boundary. The Office of Management and Budget explains that the legislation “would waive the requirement for the disclosure of any payments made by resource extraction companies to the United States or foreign governments in accordance with a transboundary hydrocarbon agreement”.
Not one House Republican voted against the motion last night to move the pair of oily bills forward to a final vote.
Only six Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to move the bill forward. It’s notable that one of those House Democrats who voted to help the Big Oil bill was Alan Grayson – who represents a district in Florida. Grayson, like too many Americans, seems to have completely forgotten about a little event in the Gulf of Mexico involving BP, Halliburton, and the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig.