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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Liberal Blogs and AM 950 Peddle Right-Wing Foundation's Transportation Snake Oil

The Reason Foundation released a report this week about congestion.

I haven't read the "study" because I'm all too familiar with the Reason Foundation's pro-highway, anti-transit snake oil. The emphasis on "congestion" is what signals that this is yet another bogus "study" from an oil, highway or automobile industry-financed "think tank".

The idea that we can "build our way out of congestion" is absurd. Los Angeles tried that and it obviously hasn't worked. Congestion happens. Most rational transportation planning provides choices for people to opt out of single occupancy vehicles stuck on congested highways. Those choices include investing in rail transit and other alternatives... but the Reason Foundation is against investing in rail transit.


A very likely explanation is that the Reason Foundation is funded and supported by the automobile and petroleum industry.

One of funders of the Reason Institute is the Koch Family Foundation. Billionaire David H. Koch sits on the Board of Trustees for the Reason Foundation.

Who is David H. Koch? From Sourcewatch:

David H. Koch is one of the billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. With his brother, Charles G. Koch, he runs the Koch Family Foundations, one of the largest single sources of funding for conservative organizations in the United States.

Koch Industries received a $30,000,000.00 criminal fine in March 2000:

"$30 Million Settlement Approved - US v Koch U. S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore approved the Department of Justice and State of Texas' settlement with Koch Industries for $30 million in civil penalties and an additional $5 million in supplemental environmental projects to be funded by Koch. This is the largest penalty imposed on a company under federal environmental laws, and is based upon spills of at least 41,000 barrels of oil and other petroleum, resulting in over three hundred violations of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 in six states. The largest single spill was approximately100,000 gallons of crude oil which caused a 12-mile oil slick on Nueces Bay and Corpus Christi Bay. Eroded and broken pipelines caused the spills. Six of the spills were into ponds, lakes and rivers." [1]

During the 1990s, the firm's faulty pipelines were responsible for more than 300 oil spills in five states, prompting a penalty of $35 million. In 1996, a flawed pipeline caused an explosion outside of Dallas in which two teenagers were killed. In a lawsuit related to the deaths, a trial court returned a judgment of $376.69 million against the company.

Speaking of Koch's pipelines, The Saint Cloud Times had a story this week about Koch asking big government to use eminent domain to condemn private property to make way for one of their nasty pipelines.

A pipeline company has started condemnation proceedings against Central Minnesota landowners who haven't signed agreements allowing a new oil pipeline to cross their property.

But, isn't the Reason Foundation against eminent domain?...they say they are.

More about Koch and their pipelines:
Koch Industries benefits from this project. They are the largest, most profitable private company in the world. They had revenues last year of $60 billion. Koch is active in politics, lobbying, making political contributions, and also through grants, foundations, and sponsorships such as the Cato Institute.

I was amazed and disappointed that AM 950's Minnesota Matters devoted an entire hour on the Reason Foundation's transportation "study" and both Minnesota Monitor and MN Publius had posts about it. Next time they want to write and talk about transportation, they should call up the the Sierra Club and Transit for Livable Communities instead.


Blue man said...

FYI, Bachmann also was one of two members of Congress from Minnesota who had Koch Industries as a top contributor. Her mate John Kline made this distinguished list as well.

This MinnCan pipeline is a sham. All of these property rights Republicans who fought against the smoking ban and property owners rights are AWOL from the MinnCan conversation.

Keep up the good work!

broom4senate said...

You are right when you said I will not get the I.P. endorsement. Apparently, because of poor out come's they will not endorse anyone unless they feel they will draw 35% of the vote. To bad for me because I could've coasted into the debates and then won....but guess what????
I was going to make the I.P. the I.P was not going to make me. Now I just have to bust my ass grab a crew and call every home in Minnesota to tell them to write the word Wellstone on the ballot.I still plan on more votes than Franken- Ms. Bachmann will be thrilled to get your endorsement. Dave- you won a battle. I win the war.

broom4senate said...

Attn: David D
BREAKING NEWS...The battle is not over, so now I can win the battle and the war.

I just put the I.P. on notice that I will enjoy due process of elimination. Should the I.P. endorse no one that would be troubling. The I.P. is not dead and will rise to the challenge!

Should the I.P. have someone they feel is a winner other then myself, I will enjoy debating him/her.

Regardless you are still a yes man,
....and you can qoute me on that.