The right-wing invents Rube Goldberg pro-pollution talking points faster than BP invents Rube Goldberg strategies to stop their undersea volcano.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been desperately trying to link the climate bill to BP. As PolitiFact reports, he actually said in a June 9 floor speech
“The problem for Democrats is that debating the Democrat cap-and-trade bill might not fit neatly into the White House messaging plan, since it’s been widely reported that a major part of the Kerry-Lieberman bill was essentially written by BP. This is clearly an inconvenient fact….”
Before explaining why this isn’t a “fact,” it must be noted how hilarious it is for McConnell to go after BP this way, when he represents the party of Big Oil and the Republican candidate for senator from his own state called the White House pressure on British Petroleum “un-American,” and defended BP’s recklessness: “sometimes accidents happen.”
You can read Politifact’s full dissection of McConnell’s falsehood here. They conclude:
There’s no question that BP, by taking a cooperative stance with Kerry and Lieberman rather than an adversarial one, had the opportunity to float its ideas during the legislative drafting process. And by dangling the possibility that the company might back the bill — which would provide the senators with politically valuable support on a complicated and contentious bill — BP and other energy companies wielded some leverage in the drafting process. In fact, many on the left — not just conservatives like McConnell– are disappointed that Kerry and other Democratic supporters of climate change legislation worked with oil companies, including BP, while crafting the bill. But saying that the senators listened to BP’s case is not the same as saying that “a major part” of the bill “was essentially written by BP.”
In fact, looking at three BP-pushed initiatives that have come to light shows that none were included in the current draft of the bill, which suggests that the senators and their aides were hardly captive to BP. It may be revealing that one day after the statement we’re checking, McConnell had toned down his description of BP’s role. In a floor speech on June 10, 2010, McConnell said, “Some favor the Kerry-Lieberman cap-and-trade bill, a significant portion of which, by the way, has been pushed by the oil company BP.”If he’d simply said “pushed” the day before, he would have been pretty close to being accurate. But McConnell went much further when he said that BP had “essentially written” a “major part” of the bill. We rule that claim by McConnell False.
I’d add that this whole process of trying to develop a market-oriented, business-friendly bill based on an emissions strategy strongly embraced by moderate Republicans like President Bush’s father back in 1990 demonstrates one thing clearly. There simply is no reasonable middle ground that anti-science conservatives won’t demonize and demagogue — a sharp contrast to conservative leaders in a country like, say, the United Kingdom.
And that may be perhaps the greatest political tragedy in the history of this country (see “The central question for 2010: Will anti-science ideologues be able to kill the bipartisan climate and clean energy jobs bill?“).