From Andrew Schenkel at mother nature network:
Thursday morning in Washington began with what has become a yearly ritual. The executives from the big five oil companies got to answer questions about their government subsidies in the wake of huge quarterly profits.
Senate Finance Committee Chariman Max Baucus wanted to know exactly why the “Big Five” felt they should continue to get $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies while enjoying profits of $31 billion during the first quarter of 2011 alone.
While many reports will make note of the hearing’s circus atmosphere that included Sen. Orrin Hatch’s unveiling of a picture of a dog sitting on a pony after saying he didn’t want the hearing to be about cheap political stunts, there was some actual tension in the room that didn’t require any stunts to feel.
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From The Huffington Post:
While you read this, Alaska’s First Dude, Todd Palin, is riding a snowmobile — I’m sorry, snow machine — 1971 miles from Big Lake to Fairbanks. In the course of performing this awesome feat, his Arctic Cat’s powerful two-stroke engine will emit the same amount of hydrocarbons as an automobile driving from Chicago to San Francisco and back 150 times.
A small price for the rest of us to pay to honor the indomitability of the human spirit and one man’s ability to sit and hold on.
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From the San Francisco Chronicle:
On the surface, President Bush’s decision Monday to lift the presidential moratorium on offshore drilling – a policy initiated by his father and extended by Bill Clinton – appeared only to embolden Democrats in their efforts to preserve the 27-year-old federal ban.
Congress has renewed its ban on drilling on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts every year since 1981, and top Democrats said Monday they will do so again this year, despite the pressure from Bush. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Bush’s action a hoax that “will neither reduce gas prices nor increase energy independence.”
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