Blake Farenthold’s Oily Policies

Blake Farenthold is the latest Republican to be officially placed in the win column in the 2010 congressional elections. Today, Solomon Ortiz officially conceded his loss to Farenthold in an extremely close contest.

Those looking to understand the policy implications of Farenthold’s addition to the U.S. House of Representatives can focus first on energy. Farenthold holds positions on energy issues that are in accord with the interests of the fossil fuels industry.

In spite of the record-breaking oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this year, Farenthold supports virtually unrestrained offshore drilling. “We must open up as much domestic land (and water) as possible for oil & gas exploration,” he writes.

Farenthold also opposes legislation to confront the growing problem of climate change. “Global warming is scare tactic used by groups with a political agenda,” he asserts, although recent scientific evidence increases the certainty that global warming and is caused by human activities, such as the burning of petroleum-based fuels, that release greenhouse gases.

Blake Farenthold’s energy policies may not make much economic sense for Gulf states vulnerable to more big oil spills and to a world where natural resources are made increasingly scarce because of changing climates. These policies make plenty of economic sense to oil companies, however.

It’s probably not a coincidence, then, that people working for oil companies were the biggest source of campaign money for Blake Farenthold this year. Farenthold ran a campaign with limited funds, but much of what money he had came from people working for companies like Royal Oil & Gas, Devon Energy, and LMP Petroleum.

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