by Max Brantley
U.S. Rep. Tiny Tim Griffin of Traskwood built his 2012 re-election campaign around advocacy of construction of the Keystone Pipeline, a potential environmental disaster that's about moving Canadian energy to Gulf Coast refineries for shipment of finished products overseas. Griffin waved around jobs at a Little Rock pipemaking plant as the reason for his interest, though even that pipe plant argument had some leaks, including that the Keystone pipe work had already been completed.
It's about how the Koch billionairies plan to get even wealthier from the project. And why should Tiny Tim care about the Kochs?
See, the oil carried by the pipeline will go to refineries owned by the Kochs.
This is Part 2 of "The Koch Brothers, Hugo Chavez and the XL Pipeline." Part 1 explains that the Koch Oil refinery can only "crack" heavy crude from Venezuela—which costs $33 a barrel more than tar sands heavy oil. But Canada's cheap crude cannot get to Texas without a new, giant pipe. XL would save the Kochs nearly $3 billion a year.
Problem: the Keystone XL tar-oil tube would endanger the largest US water sources, vastly increase pollution in the USA and measurably heat the planet.
Solution: Congressman Tim Griffin.
Congressman Griffin is sponsoring the bill to force the Obama Administration to approve the XL Pipeline without the environmental review now required by law.
What's odd is that Griffin represents Arkansas, a state with no stake in the Pipeline. [Editor's note: There IS the tube plant in Little Rock, but its work on that project is complete except for shipment.]
But the Kochs have a stake in Griffin. In his maiden run for Congress, Griffin was elected with an eye-popping $167,000 donation from the Kochs. For $167,000, any congressman will wash your car — with their tongue.
For the Kochs, $167K is peanuts. Their political action operation, Americans for Prosperity, built a quarter billion dollar fund this past year, a sum never seen even in the US politics cash swamp.
The story goes on. It helps explain why the Kochs are funding the organizations peddling the message that climate change is a hoax. It accuses Bill Clinton of going soft on the Kochs because of their support for the Democratic Leadership Council. And it gets even wilder:
As if their billions, their think tanks, lawyers, fronts and political action fund were not enough to scare the bejeezus out of politicians, there is Themis. Themis, created by the Kochs, is the nation's most sophisticated, detailed database on every American living, surpassing the most demonic dreams of the FBI.
Themis, for example, knows the last time you, Jack, downloaded porn.
Given their power and their Themis, is it really possible for a few greenies and some fact-afflicted scientists to stop the Kochs from jamming their pipeline right up our aquifers?
Absolutely. Indeed, that's the only way it will be stopped, because the Kochs have already put the politicians in their pipe and smoked them.
See the Arkansas legislature. Don't forget who's going to have the biggest stake in that smoke-belching steel mill planned for Mississippi County, to be built with tens of millions in state taxpayer subsidies and an equity investment from teachers' pension savings. Tiny Tim isn't the only Kochhead.