Thursday, August 07, 2008

John Cornyn’s Cruel Summer: Part 1 – Gasoline Prices

The junior senator from Texas, John Cornyn, has been delivering one very cruel summer to his constituents. I mentioned this previously in more general terms, but now let’s get down to specifics.

On July 25th, John Cornyn used his senate vote to block legislation that would close the Enron Loophole. The Enron Loophole is in large part responsible for the high price of gasoline that threatens to deepen the economic wretchedness that has beset our country.

I have also mentioned this before. The Enron Loophole, crafted by John Cornyn’s predecessor, former Texas Senator Phil Gramm, essentially deregulated the commodities exchange that allowed oil speculators to artificially drive up the price of oil. This loophole worked wonders for Enron when it cornered the electricity market in California, resulting in rolling blackouts there.

Now the very same trading practices have driven worldwide petroleum prices to historic highs. Senator Harry Reid sponsored a senate bill, S. 3268, the “Stop Excessive Energy Speculation Act of 2008.” The purpose of this bill is to close the “Enron Loophole” and bring oversight back to energy commodities trading.

It came to the Senate floor on July 25th after only 10 days from when it was introduced.

And guess what? The senate Republicans filibustered.

Reid moved for a cloture vote to bring debate to a close and guess what happened then? Cloture failed by a vote of 50 to 43.

And guess who voted Nay?

Junior Senator John Cornyn, that’s who.

While Texans are pouring their paychecks into their SUVs and F150s, John Cornyn protected the interests of oil speculators and oil companies.

And why not? How many of us gave John Cornyn $50,000 for his campaign war chest? Exxon-Mobil did, didn’t you? Over the course of his term in office, Oil and Gas companies have contributed a whopping $803,200. It’s at Opensecrets. John Cornyn knows who donates campaign lucre to him, and votes accordingly.

So John Cornyn is having himself a fun summer. Fun for him, that is. A cruel summer for Texans. So it’s up to us voters and activists to finish the line in the lyrics to the Banarama song:

"It's a cruel, cruel you're gone."

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