NY13 Blog; Retaking NY-13 from Rep. Vito Fossella

Following the corruption, ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of Rep. Vito Fossella.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Truth 13: Fossella and Big Oil

I received this press release from a new organization, Truth 13, that looks like it could do some great work getting press to report on Rep. Fossella's lacking record and leadership. Good start.


STATEN ISLAND, NY -- "Oil prices are yet again on the rise and there is no reason to believe they won't continue in an ever-upward direction" said Richard Marini of Truth13, a group of concerned citizens residing in New York's 13th congressional district who are challenging the voting record of their representative in congress. As of November 21, according to the Wall Street Journal [1] prices have reached as high as $99.28 a barrel – more than $3 a gallon for gasoline, with diesel fuel prices at record levels of more than $3.30 a gallon. Mr. Marini who lives in Great Kills said "As prices increase, small businesses suffer and households tighten their wallets. All the while, oil companies continue to make record profits" – On November 1st 2007, Exxon Mobil reported third quarter profits [2] of $9.4 billion dollars (Exxon Mobil News Release 11/1/07).

Every year, Big Oil spends millions of their dollars lobbying Congress. Since 1990, more than $150 million dollars of oil and gas industry profits has gone into the hands of Republicans according to the Center for Responsive Politics [3]. The Republican Congressman representing Staten Island and Brooklyn, where the effects of high oil prices may be hitting hardest, is no different. According to Federal Election Committee records, Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) has received over $68,000 in political contributions from oil and gas industry political action committees. This includes a staggering $11,500 from Exxon’s PAC [4].

In 2005, Fossella voted to give over $16 billion in tax breaks to oil companies already making record profits (HR 6, 7/28/05; HR 3893, 10/7/05). In July of 2007, he voted against an appropriations bill (HR 2641, 7/17/07) that included $213 million dollars for developing hydrogen-based energy technologies. Earlier that year in January, Fossella voted against a bill (HR 6, 1/18/07) that would reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil by investing in clean renewable energy thus reducing our reliance on unstable regions which are generally governed by dictatorial means. These regions are generally anti-western and help fund anti-American groups that are uncontrollable by western influences. "Voting against non-fossil fuel energy programs endangers our national security by forcing our continued reliance on energy from the Middle East to drive our cars and heat our homes" said Richard Greve, a member of Truth13.

Most recently, Rep. Fossella voted against an important bill (HR 2776, 8/4/07) that would repeal enormous tax breaks for highly profitable oil and gas companies, while providing incentives for the production of renewable energy and energy conservation. He also voted against a bill (H.R. 3221, 8/4/07) that would move the United States toward greater energy independence and security by developing new technologies, creating green jobs, and modernizing our energy infrastructure. Mr. Greve said "We face a long term energy problem, not just here in Staten Island, but nationwide. As oil and gas prices continue to rise, our solution must not be to give Big Oil more money, but to wean ourselves off a dependence on oil. On this front Rep. Vito Fossella's record in Congress, regrettably, has been catastrophic."

Founded in 2007, Truth 13 is a group of concerned citizens residing in New York's 13th Congressional district in Staten Island and Brooklyn who are concerned about how their representative in Congress is failing to work towards the interest of his constituents. Their mission is to educate voters of the 13th Congressional District (NY) to the voting record of their elected representative in Washington, D.C.

1. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OIL_PRICES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2007-11-06-16-51-13

2. http://exxonmobil.com/corporate/files/corporate/investor_earnings_3q07.pdf

3. http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.asp?cycle=2008&ind=E01

4. http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/can_give/H8NY13028


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