Monday, August 16, 2010

Poor Rick Perry

Poor Rick Perry. Just when he thinks he has landed on a hot button issue that is going to turn the tide against Bill White, someone reminds him that he is the one who is on the conservative side of the argument.

For months now Perry has been digging at Bill White’s foundations trying to undermine his image by exposing him for being the financial success that he is. Bill White didn’t spend decades in Austin exchanging political favors for shady financial dealings and campaign contributions. White got his fortune the old fashioned way. He earned it.

Or sometimes people threw money at him. What can I say? White is a Democrat, but not the most progressive Democrat I’ve ever seen.

But here’s the thing. This whole thing about how Bill White is tied to BJ Services (I know, it’s hard not to laugh at that name), an oil service company that is famous for, and some say infamous for, its thousands of frack jobs in the Barnett Shale is a lose-lose for Rick Perry.

First he simply used the relationship as a dig at Bill White earning $2.6 million while he was sitting on the board of directors for the oil firm. That didn’t have traction so last month, through this Texans for Rick Perry website Perry attacked Bill White’s affiliation with BJ Services (can’t stop laughing) for its water table polluting ways. From the website:

“‘Bill White is shamefully trying to use the fracturing industry to cover up the fact that the company that paid him more than $2.6 million – while he was mayor of Houston – is one of two companies Congress is investigating for admittedly pumping diesel and other dangerous chemicals into the groundwater,’ said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. ‘Bill White refuses to be held accountable for the rogue actions of his company, which has already admitted to Congress that it has been polluting.’”
Oops. Who oversees all of these companies doing frack jobs in the Barnett Shale? Rick Perry ultimately, but mainly his three Railroad Commissioners, Republicans all. Rick Perry, in attacking his opponent on an environmental issue, not only shot himself in the foot but also earned him a gentle reminder from the people in the natural gas industry on July 19th:

“‘Inaccurate statements made in the heat of a campaign ill-serve this important objective and the equally important goal of promoting broad public understanding of the extraordinary commitment and care our community takes every day to ensure we do our work in a safe and responsible manner,’ America's Natural Gas Alliance , an industry group, wrote in a July 19 letter to Perry.”
In other words, this is the natural gas industry telling Rick Perry to watch which way he’s shooting. He may be lobbing shells at Bill White, but it is the natural gas industry that is right now under the microscope in Washington, DC.

Prompting, of course, Rick Perry to stop bashing Bill about BJ and re-aiming at his favorite target, the Washington DC interlopers – on the very same day he received the above gentle reminder:

“‘I am a very strong advocate of hydraulic fracking. I've got great concerns that the federal government is trying to regulate that aspect of our drilling industry. It would basically shut down the oil and gas industry for hydraulic fracking to be outlawed or frankly, allow radical environmental interests to come in and have a say on how it should or where it can be used by the federal government.’”

“‘I think the state of Texas is doing an appropriate job and I think we're doing a pretty good job of making sure that companies that have misused the technique are being punished appropriately,’ Perry said.”
Leaving me to wonder whether this appropriate punishment is being meted out to all of the companies that “have misused the technique” or whether that is simply being applied only to companies that his political opponent has been associated with in the past.

Because when you try and find out where and when the Texas Railroad Commission is actively monitoring, catching and punishing frack job abusers, all you hear is the sound of crickets.

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