When money talks, facts twist in the wind

Time to break out the condolence cards – BP had a bad quarter. Earnings are down 18 percent, leaving this global behemoth with a paltry $3 billion in profits for the third quarter.

Poor guys. Analysts say it has something to do with the falling price of oil and BP’s stake in Rosneft, Russia’s state-controlled oil company. I’m not so sure.

Personally, I put the blame for their faltering finances on the hulking shoulders of Obamacare. Why? Wrong question. Why not? It’s an election season, that wondrous time of year when people with access to public airwaves get to say whatever they want with little or no fear of repercussions.

Facts? Pshaw. Let’s introduce your facts to my money and see who’s standing at the end of the campaign trail.

For a stellar example of electioneering crazy talk, look no further than last week’s gubernatorial debates. Bob Beauprez called out yours truly – San Juan Citizens Alliance – in an effort to paint Gov. John Hickenlooper as a clean air, pure water, healthy lands loving hippie. (Don’t forget to read those attributes with a tinge of disgust.)

Beauprez was likely referencing an energy magazine “exposé” about the Alliance that called us out as the subversive environmentalists we truly are. Committed to the destruction of life, liberty and the pursuit of fossil fuels, our secret weapon is a governor who does our bidding.

OK. Where to start?

One. Awesome. When a candidate like Beauprez invokes your name to tar and feather his opponent, you know you’ve annoyed the right people.

Two: As an organization, we have nothing against life or liberty. Quite fond of both, actually. A bit more ambivalent toward fossil fuels.

For the record, the Alliance does not want an immediate cessation to all oil and gas development. Without time to transition thoughtfully to renewable sources of energy, the banning of fossil fuel extraction would be overly disruptive. We get it.

That said, the transition to renewables and subsequent decline in traditional energy extraction cannot happen fast enough. Fossil fuel extraction harms our health, pollutes our environment and drives unprecedented changes to our climate. We must speed the development and implementation of its alternatives.

In this transition period, the Alliance’s priorities are two fold: ensure fossil-fuel energy development that must happen does so within the confines of regulations that adequately protect our communities and support policies that shorten the transition period.

Three: Would the liberal billionaires the Alliance supposedly collaborates with start sending some money? I mean, to hear the industry tell it, we’re tight. Where’s the love?

While this is impolite, it must be said. Thank god for BP’s shrinking profits. $1 billion to $2 billion less and maybe its executives will start firing the PR firms and local shills who work so very hard to slow society’s transition to the next generation of clean and renewable sources of energy.

This content first published in The Durango Herald’s Thinking Green Column here.

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