The Holy Terror &
Why Bush Failed Ordinary Americans
By Sean Callaghan
You've already heard the story of how George W. Bush has used the threat of terrorism (increased, naturally, by his expensive war in Iraq) to strike at ordinary American consumers with record-breaking gasoline prices, and, at the same time, line the pockets of his rich oil buddies with said consumers' hard-earned money. Don't think he's done yet.
First, there's the story of MTBE. Once upon a time, the oil industry had a problem. Their refining processes were producing toxic wastes that were very expensive to expel. Then back in 1986, they discovered a place they could dump their toxic waste and actually get paid to do it-our gas tanks! Yes, it turns out that MTBE actually reduces tailpipe emissions slightly, so with a little smoke and a few mirrors to hide the fact that it poisons wells and other local sources of drinking water, it's not too hard to make a case that the oil companies are doing us a favor by putting toxic waste in our gasoline. Bush loves this one. Not only does it hurt Americans every time they drink a glass of water, it hurts them again when it's time to clean up the mess.(California Jury Verdict Highlights Hidden MTBE Gas Tax, Apr 19, 2002). Bush's least favorite cleanup scenario: Ordinary Americans are hurt by paying higher taxes for cleanup. His favorite: Ordinary Americans take their lumps at the pumps when oil companies are "forced" to raise prices to clean up the mess they've made. In this scenario, not only are the people Bush hates, ordinary Americans, hurt, but the people who have paid Bush to love them get richer so they can keep paying him to love them more.
Of course, there are two sides to every story. According to Valero Energy spokeswoman Mary Rose Brown: "It would have been impossible to fulfill the requirements of the Clean Air Act without MTBE." ()
But wait. After the Clean Air Act was passed in 1990, in "an effort to assure that the petroleum product MTBE would not be the only oxygenate used in RFG [gasoline reformulated to meet Clean Air Act standards], the U.S. EPA mandated that 30% of all the oxygenate used in RFG shall come from renewable products." ()
They're talking about ethanol. Ethanol is grain alcohol, nowadays made mostly from corn. Minnesota has been requiring the addition of ethanol as an oxygenate to all gasoline sold in the Twin Cities since 1995-as a way to meet the standards of the Clean Air Act. Bush has to hate ethanol. Ethanol use helps farmers (ordinary Americans) sell their grain, it provides oil companies with a way to meet the standards of the Clean Air Act without getting paid to put poison in our gas tanks, and, to date, we don't have to import corn from OPEC, so Bush can't get re-elected by claiming terrorists are threatening our corn supply.
Ok, so the oil company side to the story still spells "we need to poison you so we can get richer," and the Clean Air Act turns out to be not much more than an excuse for them to do just that. Sorry to have wasted your time. Let's move on.
I know you hope as much as I do that our prostitute with a heart of bile finds a way to keep anyone from finding out about ethanol, but right now he's busy with another idea to hurt us little folks and make his paying customers happy. He's decided that the way to lower gas prices is to remove regulations on tailpipe emissions (Martin Crutsinger, AP, May 26, 2004). (Wait, doesn't that take away the excuse his oil buddies are using to poison our drinking water? Well, no sane person ever claimed Bush is a genius.)
That's right, Bush has decided that if those of who are too poor to dump millions into his re-election campaign don't like having our wells poisoned and our pocketbooks emptied by those rich enough to do so, he'll poison our air as well.
So, is Bush merely a common street hooker, turning tricks for whoever can pay, or is he just someone who hates ordinary Americans with a hatred more bitter than your average middle-eastern terrorist? The evidence is clear and the verdict is in. He is both.
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