Friday, June 23, 2006
Will Dent & Dertinger Take the Pledge Against Big Oil Money?
Congressman Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh Valley) faces Democratic challenger Charles Dertinger in this Fall's Congressional race. Their websites, however, reveal nothing about how they would handle our energy crisis. A simple trip to the pump tells us we have a serious problem. Even Chevron, the world's fifth largest oil producer, warns "the era of easy oil is over."
Last night, at a Lehigh Valley Beyond Oil meeting, we were told third hand that oil tankers are purposely forced to remain at sea to keep oil prices high. This is simply anecdotal evidence, but it's hard to argue with Ralph Nader's assertion that the oil industry closes down oil refineries simply to create higher prices at the pump.
Congressman Dent has proposed an inclined cable car in Easton, a hopeful sign to alternative energy advocates. But he also accepted $50,000 from the oil and gas industry in 2004. In fact, 58% of his $750,000 warchest is funded by multiple special interests. Dertinger's Council campaign was funded almost exclusively by one special interest -- unions. And that pattern has continued in his Congressional bid. Even more disturbing is Dertinger's strange silence about Northampton County Executive Stoffa's visionary proposal that alternative energy research be conducted on Bethlehem's south side.
That's why I'm asking BOTH candidates to pledge they will refuse contributions from the oil industry. Additionally, I'm asking that they sign LVBO's Light Rail petition. I've requested they make this pledge by July 4, 2006, Oil Independence Day. I'll let you know then whether our candidates are willing, like our Northampton County Liberty Bell, to sound an echo that awakens a slumbering world, saying NO both to oil dependence and special interests.