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Just so ya know

First a little background. I’m sure by now you have all heard of the AstroTurf group Americans for Prosperity, founded by the billionaire Koch brothers.  Charles and David Koch tied for fifth place on the 2010 Forbes list of richest Americans. Koch Industries is the second largest privately owned oil company in the country. Americans for Prosperity is a 501(c) group that works to thwart any action by the administration that might disrupt profits of oil, gas and coal interests by inflaming the Tea Party. The group, along with it’s multitude of related organizations, spent millions in the recent election to elect climate change deniers to Congress and they seem to have succeeded magnificently. David Koch is the primary funder of the likes of James Inhofe (R), OK who boasted in 2005;

As I said on the Senate floor on July 28, 2003, “much of the debate over global warming is predicated on fear, rather than science.” I called the threat of catastrophic global warming the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” a statement that, to put it mildly, was not viewed kindly by environmental extremists and their elitist organizations.

Well, back to AFP; It seems that they have come up with a “No Climate Tax Pledge” for lawmakers which reads;

I, ______________________, pledge to the taxpayers of the state of _______________ and to the American people that I will oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.

net increase” being the important vague term. Mostly the pledge makes no sense whatsoever. Why would you oppose a “net increase” in revenue only from climate change legislation and not from business legislation? What is “climate change” legislation? What exactly is considered a “net increase”? The whole idea of a carbon tax is to provide funding and research for clean forms of energy, which will reduce our dependence on foreign sources. Should we take money from Social Security rather than from David Koch to promote clean energy? AFP claims to have 532 signers so far. Among the pledge signers are the following Montana lawmakers;

Montana State Senate

  • Donald Steinbeisser (R) – State Senator 19th District
  • Roy Brown (R) – State Senator 25th District – Majority Whip
  • Terry Murphy (R) – State Senator 39th District

Montana House of Representatives

  • Keith Regier (R) – State Representative – 5th District
  • Bill Beck (R) – State Representative – 6th District
  • Pat Ingraham (R) – State Representative – 13th District
  • Cary Smith (R) – State Representative – 55th District
  • Gordon Vance (R) – State Representative – 67th District
  • Ted Washburn (R) – State Representative – 69th District
  • Mike Miller (R) – State Representative – 84th District

Hmmm… seems that they all have that funny (R) cipher after their names, which is the official emblem of the Republican Tea Party. Yes, this is virtually the same Montana House that received an environmental score of 7% (out of 100%) in 2009 from the League of Conservation Voters and this year we can expect worse. So far, Dennis Rehberg has not taken the No Climate Change Allowed pledge, but I suspect you will see his name added to the list shortly. That Koch money is too enticing to  pass up. Anyway, I thought you might be interested to know those state legislators who stand with Big Oil in believing that your children and grandchildren should be left to clean up the mess we are making of the planet. Theses are the folks who would rather see the world go down the shitter than imperil the $21 billion fortune of David Koch.


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