Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

I am Big Oil, and so can you

Amidst the normal Monday hustle and bustle, we found LCV's New Media Manager and blog editor/drill sergeant Jay Natoli greasing the pipes of an evil Big Oil empire, buoyed by billions of taxpayer dollars.

All in a day’s work in the video game Big Oil: Build An Oil Empire, Turn Crude to Ca$h.

According to its packaging, Big Oil (the game) challenges you to use your wits to cash in on one of the most important natural resources the American people. The management of an entire oil company ruin of our open spaces, clean air and safe drinking water is in your hands -- turn it into a profitable venture (at the expense of national security!) and become a big-time executive science denier, just like James Inhofe!

Just one problem: According to GameSpot, a website that features highly respected video game critiques, "Big Oil is poorly designed all around (inefficient and dirty), with frustrating bugs (highly-paid, low-morality lobbyists), a practically unworkable interface (which falsely claims it hasn’t caused global warming), and tiresome gameplay (which keeps you stuck in failed Bush-era energy policies)."

Sounds a lot like the real Big Oil.

Gamespot says the video game version is bad -- just like the real life version, where a majority of respected scientists say Big Oil pollutes the air we breathe and the water we drink and puts our security at risk.

And the real-life game we're playing by relying on outdated energy sources? It costs us a billion dollars every day.

So tonight dinner is on Jay -- paid for by Big Oil.

ACCCE undermined "essential trust"

Much has been made over the last few months about the lies and frauds of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). But never have we really talked about the real damage these forged letters and subsequent denials can really cause. Just the simple fact that a group of their stature would even consider these tactics was shocking enough.

In this morning's Roanoke Times, however, Dave Solimini, of the Truman National Security Project penned an op-ed, with quotes from a particularly important legislator.

In his piece, Solimini details the situation, telling how quick the "big fish" were to point fingers at "an easily sacrificed small fry." He then also pointed out, however, that "none of the bigger fish tried to notify the targeted congressman until after the House voted on the bill." The bill, The American Clean Energy and Security Act, passed 219-212.

The main target of this fraud, Virginia Representative Tom Perriello, cast an "aye" vote.

But the attempted influence on Rep. Perriello was akin to identity theft (from the Roanoke Times):
"Stealing the names and reputations of community organizations and using them to pressure elected officials, though, is particularly poisonous to civic life -- in this case, a sneaky attack by corporate interests on the communication that needs to take place between government and governed."
At the recent hearings by the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Rep. Perriello was a witness, with a lesson for those who's credibility was being questioned (quoted in the Roanoke Times):
"Forgery and identity theft in attempting to influence members of Congress not only does a disservice to those who support the legislation, but also to those who oppose it. If members of Congress have to view voices of opposition with suspicion or doubt, it hurts the opposition's cause and our national debate as a whole. ... 'Astroturf' campaigns and the expanding corporate capture of government are not healthy for our democracy."
And so we were reminded one of those age-old bedrocks of morality we learn as children: that cheaters never prosper.