If you were wondering why gas prices have been outrageously high lately, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and President Barack Obama are to blame…duh.
That’s according to the propaganda ministry Senate campaign of Congressman Bob Turner, anyway, who currently is trying to win the Republican nomination to square off with Gillibrand in the November election.
Gillibrand, meanwhile, was in Manhattan this afternoon, where she officially was nominated to be the Democratic nominee for the Senate seat she currently holds.
Obviously, Gillibrand and Obama didn’t single-highhandedly conspire to make gas prices more than four bucks a gallon. But this is an election year, where oversimplified rhetoric to explain complex issues is to be expected — and expected from all sides.
In any event, the price of gas, or (we apologize in advance for using this uber-obnoxious term) “pain at the pump,” is the issue du-jour for
Turner, who reportedly spent the weekend hanging around New York gas stations alerting motorists that Gillibrand was the reason why it now
costs an arm and a leg to fill their tanks.
He followed up loitering at gas stations with a press release issued this morning, in which his campaign spokeswoman, Jessica Proud, says the
“At every turn Senator Gillibrand is voting against increasing domestic oil production and those votes result in higher prices at the pump. When New Yorkers think about their crazy gas bills, they should think about Kirsten Gillibrand.”
Specifically, they should think about her vote against an extension to the Keystone Pipeline Project, which Turner’s campaign says would create more than 20,000 jobs, and decrease reliance on oil from places like Venezuela and the Middle East by nearly 40 percent.
Regardless of whether those numbers add up, there are a few environmental issues with the pipeline that might cause a Democratic senator — who has to worry about the environmentalist vote — to vote against it. In other words, she’s not intentionally trying to make gasoline expensive just to make the lives of New Yorkers as miserable as possible.
The original proposed route for the extension would have taken the pipeline over the Ogallala Aquifer, which is one of the largest reserves of fresh water in the world and provides agua for about two million people. Not to mention, it supports about $20 billion in agriculture, according to a 2010 editorial in The Tyee.
Part of the route also would have gone over an active seismic zone that had a 4.3 magnitude earthquake as recently as 2002.
The company pegged with building the pipeline, TransCanada, has since altered the route to avoid those areas of potential catastrophe, but it’s still a hot-button issue for environmentalists — and NASA scientist James Hansen’s comment that the pipeline extension would be “game over for the planet” certainly isn’t helping Republicans in favor of the project win them over.
Pressure from environmentalists prompted Obama to delay a decision on whether the extension to the pipeline is in the national interest until 2013 — after this year’s election.
Meantime, though, expect more from Turner’s camp — and probably every other Republican running for office this year — on the evil Democrats’ plot to bankrupt (insert location of respective constituencies here) by keeping oil prices sky high.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 19, 2012