Blaming Jeff Fortenberry For Fuel Costsby Kyle Michaelis
Anonymous: Why you want to blame a Congressman for the price of energy products is beyond me.
Sounds like a fair enough question to which I will try to provide an honest and worthwhile response.
While there is no holding Fortenberry accountable, as a lowly Louisiana boy who made it big in Nebraska, for the complex workings of the global oil market, I think he and his Republican colleagues have invited criticism and the anger of the American public by their multi-billion dollar giveaways to oil companies as the hallmark of last year's energy bill. These corporations are reaping record profits while putting the pinch on working Nebraskans for whom $3/gallon poses an extreme economic hardship.
Here are the simple facts:
Fortenberry voted against cracking down on the oil and gas industries' price gouging - helping defeat a bill that would have provided the Federal Trade Commission with new authority to investigate and prosecute those who engage in "predatory pricing."
Fortenberry also voted for the GOP energy bill that gave an estimated $85 billion worth of federal subsidies and tax breaks to the industry as the top six oil companies have seen a tripling in profits over the last three years, breaking records across the board.
It may, indeed, be a tad unfair (and ridiculous) to hold Fortenberry directly responsible at the pump, shaking my fist at the sky and damning his name each time I spend $40 filling my Chevy Lumina. But, he should, at least, be held accountable as a steward of the federal government and (supposedly) a representative of the people for following his party's orders by refusing to protect consumers then - even worse - using their tax dollars to help corporate fat cats who benefit from these outrageous prices rather than those for whom they impose an enoromous burden.
Fortenberry cast his lot with the corporations. He invested in them with the American people's money, a poor investment for which they have seen nothing but rising prices and sweeter dividends for share-holders. For that, I hold Fortenberry (and the Second District's Lee Terry) accountable, and so should voters this November.