WASHINGTON — As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal — including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.
You truly cannot make this sort of thing up. It brilliantly sums up the decadence of our regulation, and our cozy control of the industry has over regulatory agencies. Oil company executives toast record profit after doing lines of cocaine with their alleged overseers. Now we know that the government is not just figuratively fellating the oil industry. All this while Republicans are pushing a "drill here, drill now" message.
As far as petro-politics, though, you can't beat Alaska, home of Sarah Palin. The popular image of Alaska is of rugged individualist. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Alaska is a corporate socialist state floated on petro-dollars and handouts from Uncle Sam. The governor's office is even located in the BP building. This article takes on the Alaska myth.
It amuses me the most when John McCain brags about how Palin balanced a budget, or when Republican's brag about her popularity. With oil so high popularity can be bought easily (think of Putin), and how could someone fail to balance Alaska's budget?