I keep writing posts which repeat the mantra on how GOP ‘Dark Money‘ donors are running this new republican President Donald Trump’s Republican Party which no longer appears to give a hoot about fiscal responsibility, buying down the US deficit, pro-trade, anti-tariffs, and pro-legal immigration policies, as well as it no longer being the purveyors of concepts such as truth, the rule of law, the basic recognition that countries like Russia are US adversaries and that our US alliances with organizations like NATO are essential to protect US national security interests.
It has long been my premise that ‘dark money’ GOP donors specifically backed the presidency of Donald Trump versus more qualified conservative candidates because they knew he would not be constrained in delivering on their demands by doing what’s in the best interests of the American peoples.
Prior to the 2016 elections, they were demanding corporate tax cuts, deregulation, and the killing, once and for all, of Obamacare, as well as, the placement of conservative justices on the US Supreme Court and other US federal court benches. President Trump, his administration and the GOP sycophants in the US Congress have delivered on all of these demands and they were just shy of killing Obamacare by one US Senator’s vote, that of Senator John McCain.
This faction has joined up with a coalition of voters, including the anti-immigration zealots; Evangelicals as the anti-climate change science, anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ rights crowd; the racists which include those who are the anti-Semitics and anti-Muslim: and the NRA second amendment enthusiasts, to reach their goals.
These GOP ‘dark money’ donors are the ones who pushed hard for the GOP 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs bill and the numerous regulation reforms that favor corporate interests as well as the placement of conservative justices on the US federal court system who would tend to rule in favor of corporate interests while backing Evangelicals’ wish to limit women’s access to legal abortions and LGBTQ rights.
Starting in 1973, these conservative ‘dark money’ donors, corporation leaders formed non profit organizations like ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), Americans for Prosperity and others to further their interests. These organizations’ power was placed on steroids following the 2010 US Supreme Court ruling in the case of Citizens United v FEC. The SCOTUS justices held : “Political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections.”
One of those interests, is to have the US government favor the US fossil fuel industry, especially with the elimination of its regulations on its operations and the continued GOP policy of climate change science denial.
The following story details how the fossil fuel industry wrote the rules for President Trump’s administration….
On January 9, 2018, Lisa Friedman of the New York Times penned the following report, “How a Coal Baron’s Wish List Became President Trump’s To-Do List”
“President Trump’s first year in office has been a boon for the coal industry, with the Trump administration rolling back regulations on coal-fired power plants and withdrawing the US from the Paris climate change agreement.”
“Environmentalists have expressed alarm at the new direction, and have complained that Mr. Trump was following a blueprint from the coal industry. A confidential memo written by the head of the country’s largest coal mining company suggests they might not be wrong.”
“The memo was written by Robert E. Murray, a longtime Trump supporter who donated $300,000 to the president’s inauguration. In it, Mr. Murray, the head of Murray Energy, presented Mr. Trump with a wish list of environmental rollbacks just weeks after the inauguration.”
“Nearly a year later, the White House and federal agencies have completed or are on track to fulfill most of the 16 detailed requests, even with Monday’s decision by federal regulators to reject a proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize struggling coal and nuclear plants.”
“The March 1 memo, which was obtained by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and shared with The New York Times, is addressed to Vice President Mike Pence. The sweeping wish list of regulatory overhauls includes ending regulations on greenhouse gas emissions and ozone and mine safety, as well as cutting the staff of the Environmental Protection Agency “at least in half” and overhauling the Labor Department’s office of mine safety.”
“I give President Trump and his administration credit for being bold, being passionate and being correct in addressing a lot of these issues that were on my list here,” Mr. Murray said in an interview Tuesday.”
“Photographs of portions of a different memo, dated March 23 and addressed to Rick Perry, the secretary of the Department of Energy, were obtained by the magazine In These Times last year. They were taken during a meeting Mr. Murray held on March 29 with Mr. Perry and others at the Energy Department, according to the magazine.”
“Mr. Murray on Tuesday described the memos as very similar.”
“The March 1 “Action Plan for the Administration of President Donald J. Trump” is aimed, Mr. Murray wrote in the memo, at “getting America’s coal miners back to work.” He also asks the federal government to cut funding for carbon capture and sequestration technology — which Mr. Murray called “a pseudonym for ‘no coal’” — and eliminate a 2009 E.P.A. ruling known as the endangerment finding that was the legal justification for much of the Obama administration’s climate change policy.”
“This list was to remain private, a list of things that needed to be done for reliable, low-cost electricity in America. That was my number one goal here, was to give guidance to the administration in an area that I have observed over 60 years,” Mr. Murray said.”
“Critics say Mr. Murray’s list and the apparent ease with which he was able to get it in front of cabinet officials and others illustrates the open-door access the Trump administration has offered energy and other industries as it moves to redirect and weaken federal regulations.”
“The astonishing presumption of this list,” Mr. Whitehouse, a Democrat, said. “It’s an extraordinary arrogance of the fossil fuel industry based on the power they wield in Washington, D.C.” He said even though Mr. Murray had bragged about the action plan on a Frontline documentary last year, the Energy Department had declined his requests to immediately release the memo.”