Dollars for Deceit and Disaster

By Richard C. Bartlett

Have you ever been curious about why, when nearly all the world's scientists have, for over a decade been warning us of the imperative need for comprehensive legislation to prevent climatic disasters, our politicians are such foot-draggers?

That old aphorism, "Money is the root of all evil" gives us the answer. The coal, oil, and gas industries spent $450,000,000 in 2008 in an anti-clean power advertising, lobbying, and apolitical contribution drive aimed at an upstart competitor. That's a lot of moola !!! One has to wonder how much of that largesse accounts for the shamefully long permitting process that has kept Cape Wind from producing pollution-free electricity for the Cape and Islands these many years. We do know that $2 million has been spent by Oxbow and the Alliance, two of whose top officials are from the coal business.

The pollution industries have been spending a lot of money in an attempt to confuse the public about energy and climate change. Exxon-Mobil has paid some scientists-for -hire to issue denial reports. TV has been blanketed with oxymoronic "clean coal" commercials. If they had spent that ad budget on research and development perhaps by now they would have found a  way to make that black stuff green.

But even so, we voters seem to be better informed, more willing to act responsibly, than the clowns that are making the political decisions and conniving behind closed doors. Only a handful of our Massachusetts elected and appointed officials are truly working in our best interest on these issues. The Obama administration, giving renewable energy a top priority, offers hope for a cleaner, more economical future for all of us living on the Cape, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard. We are most fortunate that Cape Wind has had the stamina to withstand 8 years of hassling.

Richard C. Bartlett
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