BY FRANK P. BELCASTRO
The big winners in our cash-and-carry system of government are corporate special interests. For a lousy $318.7 million in contributions from 1991-2001, the resource-extracting industries [oil, gas mining, electric utilities, chemical manufacturers, and timber] got $33 billion [yes, billion] in tax breaks in energy legislation alone.
They also got a weakened Superfund toxic-cleanup law, freedom to remove the tops off mountains and dump the waste into valleys and streams, lax regulation of energy markets and other regulatory relief, such as not having to close high-pollution smokestacks.
We pay with dirtier air and water; despoiled national parks, forests, and wilderness; high rates of childhood asthma; millions in price gouging; and heavily polluted toxic-waste sites.
You have to pay to play.
This is your Congress at work. For your safety, follow their voting record and vote out those special-interests politicians.
– Frank P. Belcastro lives in Dubuque, IA and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer