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WI GOP Senate candidate Ron Johnson owns over $100,000 in BP stock, supports Great Lakes oil drilling, and is glad theres global warming.

By Joe Romm on July 12, 2010 at 10:47 am

"WI GOP Senate candidate Ron Johnson owns over $100,000 in BP stock, supports Great Lakes oil drilling, and is glad theres global warming."

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GOBP sharp smallRon Johnson, a wealthy business executive and leading Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin this year, is beginning to receive scrutiny for his extremist views.  Last month he was asked whether or not he agreed that “man-caused global warming is a proven fact.”   His reply:

I totally disagree…I’m always surprised that people think this is the sweet spot in global history in terms of this is where we should be climate-wise. We live in Wisconsin – I’m glad there’s global warming or we’d be standing on top of a 200 ft. thick glacier. So I think it’s absolutely not proven, and for us to be contemplating fixing something that is not proven is absurd.

Yes, that’s what’s absurd.  For a debunking of the truly absurd standard right wing talking point about the “sweet spot,” see:

Think Progress has more on Johnson in this cross-post.

Johnson has been criticized recently for opposing an anti-sex offenders bill, the Child Victim Act,.” Last month, when asked if he would support drilling for oil in the Great Lakes, Johnson “” who owns more than $100,000 in BP stock “” replied, “I think we have to, get the oil where it is.” At a town hall on Wednesday in Howards Grove, Wisconsin, ThinkProgress asked Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI) “” who was sporting a Ron Johnson for Senate bumper sticker “” if he agreed with Johnson’s support for Great Lakes oil drilling. Petri said he personally hasn’t supported Great Lakes drilling, but seemed genuinely baffled by Johnson’s radical views, and refused to comment:

TP: Ron Johnson, the Senate candidate here in Wisconsin, says he opposes the drilling moratorium and he even goes as far as saying he wants drilling everywhere, even possibly the Great Lakes. Would you support that kind of position?

PETRI: Well I haven’t but I don’t know the details of what exactly is being talked about and I sort of hate to respond to someone else’s characterization of an individual’s position without knowing what they actually said myself.

Anti-government, anti-regulation radicals running for U.S. Senate this year have shocked even GOP lawmakers with their political positions. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who helped Kentucky Republican Rand Paul win his primary earlier this year, was surprised to learn of Paul’s opposition to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights act, when asked by ThinkProgress. DeMint said he would have supported the Civil Rights Act, quickly distancing himself from Paul.


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12 Responses to WI GOP Senate candidate Ron Johnson owns over $100,000 in BP stock, supports Great Lakes oil drilling, and is glad theres global warming.

  1. Peter Mizla says:

    Is Johnson’s credo any different than 95% of the republican party these days?

  2. What I really don’t get is why the dems do not hammer the Repubican candidates with this stuff.

  3. Raindog says:

    This guy is clearly a buffoon on the climate issue and probably on most other issues but I have to agree with him about drilling in the Great Lakes.

    More than 20,000 wells have been drilled on the Canadian side of Lake Erie including some less than 4 miles from downtown Buffalo. They are allowed to produce natural gas on their side of the lake but not oil. Because it is a gas (vapor), no spills will occur due to natural gas drilling. Most of their wells are seafloor completions so you can’t see them.

    Can you remember all the media reports about spills or pollution related to drilling in Lake Erie? Neither can I. That’s because there has never been a serious problem.

    I am a proud liberal on almost every issue. Obama is pretty much a moderate republican from where I sit. But I am really puzzled by most liberal’s ignorance and hypocrisy on issues relating to oil and gas drilling. If you drive a car, fly or use electricity then you are using oil and gas and are a de facto supporter of oil and gas production. They don’t just come out of the pipe. They have to come from somewhere. You can’t be against drilling everywhere and at the same time use oil and gas.

    I fully support moving to renewables as quickly as possible but they still produce less than 1% of our energy in this country. We need some kind of energy in the meantime.

    If you really, REALLY care about climate change then you should be for domestic natural gas drilling and then using natural gas to displace coal. As Joe has said it is the quickest way to significantly reduce our carbon emissions.

  4. BBHY says:

    So, does that mean he now owns $50,000 in BP stock, or did he previously own $200,000 in BP stock?

    [JR: Funny, in a sad kind of way!]

  5. BBHY says:

    Raindog,
    Before April 20 we didn’t hear a lot about oil spills in the Gulf Of Mexico, but we are certainly hearing about it now. Before March 24, 1989 we didn’t hear a lot about oil tanker accidents in Alaska either. Once these things happen, its a little too late to say gee, maybe that wasn’t a great idea after all.

    BTW, my car is electric and my electricity is solar.

  6. George says:

    Well it seems if this wannabe Senator gets his way we can probably just designate the entire Great Lakes as an area of concern.

    The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the United States and Canada defines Areas of Concern as “geographic areas that fail to meet the general or specific objectives of the agreement where such failure has caused or is likely to cause impairment of beneficial use of the area’s ability to support aquatic life.”

  7. BillD says:

    “Raindog says:
    July 12, 2010 at 11:08 am
    This guy is clearly a buffoon on the climate issue and probably on most other issues but I have to agree with him about drilling in the Great Lakes.”

    Raindog;

    I am willing to hear you out on natural gas drilling. However, note that the posting refered specifically to “drilling for oil.”

    Wisconsin has a good record on the environment. My guess is that a good number of conservative “outdoors men” would not vote for such a radical, antienvironment idealogue,much less that he would gain support from the mainstream. I hope that I am not proven wrong on this view.

  8. Raindog says:

    BBHY,

    I support your efforts, but your electric car is still likely at least in part fueled by electricity produced from natural gas or worse coal. When you are completely off the grid and walking or riding a bike get back to me. But then you wouldn’t be able to use a computer either so that might be difficult.

    Here is how I see the reality of the situation: We use oil and gas in great quantities in this country. Liberals on average use as much as conservatives. In fact wealthier liberals probably use more than lower income conservatives.

    Most of this is produced without incident. Regulation of the industry is required in order to produce oil and gas safely. Regulations also need to be enforced. Despite all this, companies will sometimes cut corners or an accident will happen. This will always be part of it, although it can be minimized. It will never be zero risk. When we fill our tanks or turn on the light switch we are making a statement: that it is worth these risks for me to have power.

    I agree that some areas should be off limits to drilling (national parks for instance). But I think there are some in the country who would ban it just about everywhere. There are many on this site who would ban shale gas drilling. Now deep water drilling is out. Those are the two biggest growth areas. No drilling in the great lakes, no drilling in ANWR, no drilling offshore east coast or west coast. I have heard some saying that all offshore drilling of any kind should be banned. If we were to go through with all of the bans that environmental groups would like, we would be importing almost all of our oil and most of our natural gas. Much of that oil and gas is produced offshore or in beautiful places in other countries but we don’t seem to care about that as much. What we are saying is that our land and water is more important than the land and water in the countries where the oil and gas are being produced.

    There are downsides to all energy sources. People die constructing wind turbines. Wind turbines kill a lot of birds and bats and this is during normal usage not just when accidents occur. Land needs to be cleared to construct the turbines in many cases. Transmission lines will need to be constructed if we really go to wind in a big way. These are ugly and will lead to major clearing of land, habitat destruction, etc. So it is not as if wind has no downside. Larger solar installations will also lead to habitat destruction and have a similar issue with transmission lines. Someone told me, I am not sure if this is true, that constructing solar panels requires large amounts of fresh water.

    So I just want people to get real about where energy comes from and accept that there is going to be some risk and some sacrifice and some downside. People seem to want energy with no risk or downside whatsoever. That isn’t how it works.

  9. Raul says:

    Yep, there is oil out there in the Gulf of pollution.
    Lots of it ,I tell yee.
    No, It’s not supposed to be there I tell yee.
    Most all will agree, that bird shouldn’t have some.
    That fish neither.

  10. Raindog seems to misunderstand the environmentalist opposition to oil drilling. Yes, the environmentalists are opposed to drilling in ANWR, off the East and West coast, in deepwater (see the Gulf of Mexico) and all other pristine places which are not in need of an oily coating of pollution.

    The environmentalists are not opposed to all these things because they want the Americans to import oil from formerly pristine places now destroyed by the oil industry (see the Niger Delta, Equador rain forest, and Venezuela’s wetlands). The environmentalists encourage Americans to consume less oil.

    The environmentalists aren’t even demanding that Americans drive less (though that is excellent advice for everyone). The environmentalists would prefer that Americans consume oil more intelligently. In other words: Americans really don’t need SUVs to drive to the mall, Americans don’t need to idle their engines while waiting, and Americans can avoid single passenger vehicles by commuting together whenever possible.

    There isn’t an environmentalists alive who is opposed to ANWR drilling while also in favor of the oil industry creating a toxic polluted mess in the Niger delta. The only reason why you will hear environmentalists campaigning on ANWR’s behalf is because as citizens in a democracy the American people can save ANWR. Environmentalists cannot influence Nigeria’s government either directly or indirectly.

    In poor weak nations such as Nigeria and Equador the oil industry uses its economic power, wealth and political power (via their Western governments) to impose their will against the wishes of the native inhabitants of these lands. The oil industry’s lack of regard for human rights is so profound that it has participated in the oppression and violence suppression of opponents.

    The native inhabitants are left to suffer and die. The oil industry doesn’t care about the suffering of humans. Profits are everything the environment and humankind amount to collateral damage. When the oil industry is finished pumping oil from the ground they just leave and walk away from their toxic mess.

    American citizens along the Gulf of Mexico are just getting the smallest taste of the human suffering generated by the oil industry throughout the world. Environmentalists are opposed to the pollution of the environment and the suffering of humans. The oil industry cares only about profits and keeping its addicts addicted to oil.

    I look forward to the day when the oil industry has ceased to exist. Peak Oil cannot come fast enough.

  11. Lore says:

    Raindog #8:

    “There are downsides to all energy sources. People die constructing wind turbines.”

    People die crossing the street. I’m not sure you’re making a case here.

    “Wind turbines kill a lot of birds and bats and this is during normal usage not just when accidents occur.”

    This is a myth, autos, domestic and wild cats kill many millions of birds a year, far more birds than any Wind Turbine, which is estimated to be about 45 birds a year each.
    http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/cats/materials/predation.pdf

    “Land needs to be cleared to construct the turbines in many cases.”

    Not so, take the Great Lakes as an example. I live by Lake Michigan, when Ron Johnson pops his head up, I can see him from here. Local county boards have voted that they do not want wind farms built by Scandia Wind Offshore LLC off their shores, positioned in the lake. I guess we will have to wait and see how they all feel about the supposed spoiled view when their electric rates go up and more jobs leave, rather then establishing clean energy work in a state that sorely needs it.
    http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/ottawa_county/Should-there-be-wind-farms-on-Lake-MI

    “Transmission lines will need to be constructed if we really go to wind in a big way. “

    New transmission lines need to be constructed anyway just to update our current infrastructure in order to keep pace with our present needs. Sounds like the work we should be doing now before we all blow a fuse.

    Solar and wind are by no means a panacea, but relying on dirtier forms of a shrinking and ultimately more expensive source for our energy requirements is a sure ticket to a dead end.

  12. mike roddy says:

    Tenney, #2, I ask myself that question all the time. What are they afraid of? Maybe we don’t want to go there…