Thursday, February 23, 2006

Like A Free Ride When You've Already Paid

Texas Joe Barton (R-TX) is down right mad at Citgo. He's mad because while oil prices are at an all time high, Citgo had the gaul to start a program that offered heating oil to the poor in the Northeast at rates up to 60% below market price. That's right, Citgo, and only Citgo, started an oil-for-the-poor program so those less fortunate than others could heat their home this winter.

And he's is so mad that he's demanding, according to the New York Daily News, that the company produce by tomorrow all "all records, minutes, logs, e-mails and even desk calendars related to Citgo's novel program of supplying discounted heating oil to low-income communities in the United States."

Barton want this information and anwsers to these questions:

"'how and why were the particular beneficiaries of this program selected' and whether the program 'runs afoul of any U.S. laws, including but not limited to, antitrust laws.'"

It's no surprise to learn that Barton is second only to Tom DeLay in receiving oil industry money.

So while all the other oil companies are raking in record profits and consumers are wondering if they are price gouging us, Barton goes after the one company that offered discounted oil to those who needed help the most this winter.

Isn't it ironic...


  • And the oil companies get $7B windfall drilling rights on Federal (i.e. taxpayer) land. Read a bit more closely, the windfall is for $65B.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:55 PM  

  • Hey, I don't know if you're familiar with Barton's previous work, but being down here in Texas I can tell you quite frankly that Barton is THE oil and gas rep in the house.

    This whole ploy against Citgo is probably just an effort to help the oil companies protect their PR.

    The question they don't want asked is,"if Citgo could do it, why couldn't Exxon, or Shell in times of record profits?"

    And knowing Joe Barton, I would also expect at some point when he gets in trouble to start throwing some nice jingoistic anti-Chavez rhetoric into the mix as well.


    By Blogger mikevotes, at 2:03 PM  

  • It's not really ironic per se (just generally unethical), but then, neither are most of the things in the song. (Now, a song called "Ironic" that lists a bunch of things that aren't actually ironic IS pretty ironic.)

    By Anonymous Thad, at 2:06 PM  

  • Barton will probably argue for more tax breaks for the poor oil and gas companies after they got "ripped off" by CITGO.
    The latest progressive commentary on politics and current events

    By Anonymous LC Liberal, at 3:00 PM  

  • You forgot to mention that Citgo is Venezualan State owned company, and that it's Hugo Chavez's idea to do this. Not that there is anything wrong with that. It just seems like you were hiding this fact.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:13 PM  

  • Wow. If Citgo is owned by a foreign oil company doesn't that make it even worse? Our own "American" companies won't give relief to the poorest from their overflowing coffers?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:27 PM  

  • I just called Rep. Barton's office and spoke with his (secretary or whoever the guy is that handles his calls). I asked the guy what Barton has against Citgo. The guy says Barton has nothing against Citgo, his beef is with Chavez down in Venezuela and that the Dept. of Energy should be the one to control the oil that Citgo is donating. (I suppose to up the price again and take more profits.) So I asked the guy what was wrong with the way Citgo is handling the disbursment of oil and he now he says we dont have a problem with it (running laps must be It's Chavez down in Venezuela that they have a problem with (I'm sure you know what the deal is w/ the Chavez gov't and the Venezuelan gov't now owning Citgo). I asked what the problem was with them. Their answer..."well Chavez has been, now we call him socialist, but the leader of the communist party in his area of the world for quite some time". I told him I didn't believe that for a second and that Chavez had done some great things for 100's of thousand of poor in his country. The guy on the phone couldnt say anything back at that, just a meager "yeah". Then I asked about Barton's oil contributions and the guy said "he doesnt get that much money from them.... everything you hear is just a rumor". I asked for the amount he gets from oil companies and was told that reps are not allowed to talk about political contributions over the phone (which I took as the only truth this guy spoke the whole time). I ended the convo by lying to the guy and saying I was Bartons constituent and saying he lost my vote, the guy was silent after that and I hung up. In conclusion the man I spoke to regarding Barton seemed to be pretty shaken the whole time, I could hear in his voice he was nervous and did not give concise answers. Nevertheless it was fun (though frustrating) and I encourage anyone that wants answers from his direct office to call. Here's the number (202) 225-2002.

    By Blogger tpapp, at 5:46 PM  

  • Well I'm not surprised at saying its wrong to give to the poor. It follows the GOP policy. Look at what happen in the Gulf where poor people were left to die. This is the new America. If anybody should recieve discount oil its the rich. Let the poor mainly minority die or go to an invasion. What is needed is what Mr. Lott called for bring back slavery. We had all the workers we needed to get this country and the right people rich. If only the South hadn't lost or that civil rights bill hadn't passed. Let the South and slavery raise again and show Iraq,Iran and others that by surpressing people and having them keep under control the country and the right people get rich and the country bills to power. Its time the world realize either you do it our way or else. We are the world power and with our new H Bomb who will stop us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:06 PM  

  • I'm guessing you were being sarcastic? Am I right?

    By Blogger tpapp, at 6:08 PM  

  • What an idiot that Joe Barton is,demanding all these records and acting all huffy. It's just a matter of time before we invade Venezuela.

    By Anonymous karena, at 6:38 PM  

  • As I recall, Barton was also recently into investigating scientists who had the gall to say that global warming is a fact. Can't be having the right-wing Republican faux "reality" questioned.

    By Blogger Jim, at 8:00 PM  

  • every time someone wants to help the poor, they are labeled as commies or worse. it happened in guatemala(united fruit, now dole)when the then government wanted to reclaim their land and control of infrastructure. labeled "commies in our back yard" and the rest is ugly history of us imperialism. the north won the civil war to legalize slave wages...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:14 PM  

  • Wow, I guess Citco and Venezuela really are a threat to the American way...
    of monopolistic practices and gouging consumers for obscene profits.

    Better go bomb em' today! Oh, and don't forget to take out that evil do gooder, Hugo Chavez.

    Kevin Schmidt, Sterling VA

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:50 PM  

  • This proves my point that the ONLY reasons why Bush and some of his evil Republican and Democrat for that matter too comrades are against Venezuela and Chavez is because they don't want to be showed up for the price gouging,poor robbing,in bed with oil companies greedy evil cronies they are! Plus,to steal Venezuela oil also! We MUST wake up the sheep in our country and explain to them immediately that Chavez is one of good guys helping out poor,which is WHY they hate him so and have tried to overthrow him twice! Explain to these braindead sheep in our nation before our gov't tries to invade Venzuela to steal their oil and kill a DEMOCRATICALLY elected leader who unlike these greedy bastards,actually help out not only their poor but ours as well! Explain to them who the REAL enemies of America are,some of our OWN politicians like this greedy ahole! And NOW! To stop them from being totally brainwashed by Bush Adminstration!

    By Anonymous Sue, at 6:35 AM  

  • Everyone needs to call this guy and raise holy hell with him! They don't like Chavez because he shows them up for the greedy S.O.B's that they are! And they are afraid the sheep will start asking the question, if Citgo and Venezuela can help our poor out and their own, WHY in hell can't our greedy oil companies do the same thing? He is a threat to their greedy, price gouging ways,is WHY Bush and others like this jerk are against Venezuela! It has NOTHING to do with him being a supposed dictator, which he is NOT but TWICE democratically elected, UNLIKE BUSH who stoled two elections and wants to be a dictator himself and is working at it as we speak,thanks to gutless, corporate whores in Congress like this puppet who put Bush and evil cohorts above our Constitution and our nation and put their own corporate campaign $$ above our nation and all of it's people, including the poor! These jerks just want to legislatively and/or rob the poor and middle class to give to the rich, again,again and again!

    By Blogger Sue, at 6:43 AM  

  • what an asshole! I live in NH and though I can afford to pay my heating bills, a lot of people can't. Right now its 350$ a month for heating oil to heat my house. Double what' it was last year! Imagine a person on a fixed income having to come up with that. Now Bush has probably decimated the energy assistance programs for the poor that I relied on when my kids were babies and I needed help.
    Screw the poor. that's that repugs' motto.

    By Blogger Jaimie, at 2:53 PM  

  • I am a strong proponent of the theory that America strong arms those countries that have monetary value to the US economy. AND that we will do anything to stop any country that doesn't play by our rules. All this national security and interests crap is right, but for the wrong reasons. Back in the 60s we made the world accept the US dollar as the currency of the world to purchase oil. Just ask OPEC. Iraq was changing that to Euros and we took him out. Chavez is threatening to do the same this March. See what happens to him. Iran is making the same motions and we all know that it will be a race to see if the US or Israel make the first strike. As for the cheap gas from Citgo, I say accept it for what it is regardless of where it came from. It represents an effort that our own oil barons and the king in the White House plus the jester, Bush, won't accept as humanitarian. To those clown, assistance for the poor and needy takes money out of the pockets of the rich. We have an upside-down political, cultural, ethical, and securlar society. Lot's of history out there for those who want to search for the truth. It take time and energy (sorry for the pun) but in the end you will learn that the history we are taught is far from the reality of what was, is, and will always be. It is a sorry picture of the light skins against the dark skins on our own soil and in other parts of the world. Be proud of what you do as an individual. But don't be proud of something you don't understand beyond the word patriotism. That is the beginning of narrow-minded thinking that excludes other points of view that are just as important as your own. Learn about the world from the Vikings to the Romans to Christianity and Islam to the British Empire to the American Empire. It always begins and ends the same.

    By Anonymous Ming, at 4:30 PM  

  • One other thing Hugo Chavez is doing for Americans is this: By helping the poor in his country using money from oil profits to improve their lives, jobs, and social conditions, Chavez is making it less likely that they will want to leave their homes to immigrate to the US. I bet if you look it up, immigrants from Venezuela are a lower percentage than other similar countries. All Americans should be thanking Chavez and happy about what he is doing. Someone like Chavez running Mexico would do wonders for our boarder issues.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:39 PM  

  • But if Citgo is allowed to continue this program, then blue-state low-income democrats won't freeze to death. Freezing the northern blue-staters is a key part of the GOP's plans to create a single-party totalitarian state. (see PNAC)

    By Anonymous Robin, at 5:00 PM  

  • Oh, I live in Vermont, I didn't mention that. I just bought 247 gallons of heating oil for three weeks of heat and it was 617 dollars! And don't forget to add the $75 of extra electricity to blow the hot air around the house. My electric bills go from $75/mo to $150 in the winter.

    But we also bought $1000 of cord-wood and have been using that mostly this winter, we lit the fire in October and were expecting to burn oil in Feb. when it's below zero anyway.

    The Compassionate Conservatives that are so concerned about the 'pre-born' do not give a $h1t about the post-born.

    Vermonters are starving to death and freezing to death in record numbers, but our media will never talk about it.

    By Anonymous Robin, at 5:16 PM  

  • I understand why the GOP is upset. The oil companies barely had enough money to buy the last election, and it's probably costing them a pretty penny to create all that unrest in Nigeria in order to limit the oil supply and keep profits increasing. Maybe Cheney should send Halliburton and Blackwater down there for security, so everybody can get a piece of the pie.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:26 PM  

  • Which gaul ? Asterix ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:21 AM  

  • I think aome of you are taking Chavez too lightly. This is a man that led a Coup, took his Lieutenant Colonel rank to throw out a democratically elected government.
    Then, after being released out of jail by democracy, he was elected president, changed the constitution based on a fictitious majority only backed by 13% of the population.
    He fired more than 20.000 employess from PDVSA because of their political differences with his government, held their lifetime savings in the company´s trust not letting them to withdraw them, forbid oil companies in Venezuela to hire them. All of this based on political and opinion differences.
    He won an illegal referendum in 2004 and now is backing Iran on its nuclear programs that, though Iran clams is only for peaceful purposes, Ahmadinejad has not convinced me of this.
    I understand any difference that any of you might have with Joe Barton, but rejecting Barton shouldn´t mean supporting an oppresive, human rights violator and inefficient government like Chavez´.

    By Anonymous Fernando Bermudez, at 2:36 PM  

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