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When Fiction Becomes Reality: Texas GOP Desperate To Save Fossil Fuels
The battle between billionaires and the planet Earth may eventually kill us all.
Have you seen “Don’t Look Up” on Netflix? If not, I highly recommend it. Two desperate scientists race against time to warn the world of the impending doom. But when the government intervenes, their mission takes an unexpected twist. As the clock ticks, the president reveals a shocking discovery of rare minerals worth a staggering $140 trillion on the comet’s surface.
With greed taking center stage, the government decides to mine the comet before obliterating it. Billionaires seize the opportunity, amassing unimaginable wealth, while the planet’s fate hangs in the balance. The tension reaches a breaking point as the clock ticks down to doomsday. But when it seems like humanity might have a chance, disaster strikes as the missiles’ drones malfunction, leaving the mission in ruins.
As chaos ensues, hope fades rapidly, and the comet’s devastating impact becomes inevitable. The heart-pounding climax leads to a catastrophic collision with Earth, spelling doom for all of humanity—except for the billionaires who escape in their private rockets, leaving the rest of the world to face certain death.
The entire movie is a metaphor for fossil fuels and the climate crisis.
The comet hurtling towards Earth symbolizes the looming threat of climate change, a catastrophe that, if not addressed, will have devastating consequences for humanity. The government’s decision to mine the comet for rare minerals before destroying it mirrors the real-world scenario where pursuing short-term profits often takes precedence over addressing the long-term consequences of fossil fuel consumption. The greed-driven actions of the billionaires in the movie reflect the interests of powerful corporations and individuals who prioritize their financial gain over the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants.
And when we have art creating this satirical approach to the genuine catastrophe of climate change, it almost becomes comical watching Texas Republicans, along with oil moguls, attempt to kill clean energy in favor of the fossil fuels which are killing us.
Last month, the Biden Administration announced the first-ever offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico.
The plan is to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030 and reach a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035. They’re doing this in two different places in the Gulf, one off Louisiana and one off the coast in Galveston.
And just like the cartoon villains that they are, oil moguls Mayes Middleton and Tim Dunn immediately try to halt it. Middleton is a millionaire and the president of Middleton Oil Company and has been known to push legislation that benefits his company and bottom line. Dunn, the billionaire CEO of CrownQuest Operating, has been known to fund pro-oil politicians.
As Middleton is pursuing the legislative route to stop this wind farm from happening, Dunn has deployed his flunkees at the Texas Scorecard to drum up negative attention toward the proposed wind farms.
Last year, Middleton publicized a letter to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) stating his “concerns” regarding wind farms in or near Texas waters. Those alleged concerns included:
How clean energy would reduce the reliability of the grid,
and Shipping Lanes.
Since Winter Storm Uri, fossil fuel sycophants have pointed to clean energy as the reason Texas lost power for a week. Of course, this lie was debunked repeatedly. The cause of the outage during Winter Storm Uri was the failure of natural gas. More than two years later, we all know that Mayes Middleton knows that. Yet, in his letter to BOEM, he blamed clean energy for the failures in grid reliability.
The greedy corporations in our for-profit grid system failed to prepare for a weather disaster adequately. And when the opportunity arose, they blamed clean energy because they make so much money from fossil fuels.
The interference with shipping lanes “concern” is also complete bullshit.
A system of shipping safety fairways has long been established along the Gulf Coast to provide safe shipping lanes free of oil well structures. In fact, there has long been (1983) government code in place to address the safety of shipping vessels going around oil drilling in the Gulf.
Mariners are advised to use the Shipping Safety Fairways in the Gulf of Mexico. These fairways provide shipping lanes free of oil drilling structures. I searched far and wide. There is no indication that these wind farms will interfere with the current Shipping Safety Fairways. But, even if they did, a system is already in place to move these fairways as needed.
As an oilman operating on the Gulf coast, you can count that Middleton is also well aware of this.
What about fishery? Or marine wildlife? Luckily for us, BOEM has already prepared an environmental assessment of the potential effects of these wind farms. You can read the entire report here, but in a nutshell, they found there would be no significant impact on coastal communities and habitats, fish and invertebrates, marine mammals, sea turtles, or any other environmental concerns.
Who do we trust more? BOEM or dirty oil billionaires?
Pro-oil Republicans have already begun a campaign to bully Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham to block the Biden administration from placing cables in Texas-controlled waters.
Of course, she’ll oblige because that’s who Republicans are, but everyone should know she’s doing it at the risk of Texas’ health and well-being to benefit a wealthy few.
None of these Republicans are concerned about energy reliability or shipping channels, Texas is the oil capital, and they’ll keep it that way even if it kills us. But, if they really had concerns about the detriment of energy and energy output in Texas, here are a few things they would be looking at:
Those stories are only a tiny amount of the constant barrage of news we’re hit with in Texas about how the oil and gas industry is literally killing us. Texas is home to more cancer clusters than any other place in America.
Fossil fuels are killing the planet, killing wildlife, and killing people. Yet, Texas Republicans look the other way because if they aren’t getting rich from fossil fuels, their campaigns sure are.
President Biden is looking to cut carbon emissions and give us clean energy, making our air safer and reversing some of the damage already done. And like with “Don’t Look Up,” hope is fading rapidly, and the climate crisis’ devastating impact is becoming inevitable. This spells doom for all of humanity—except for the billionaires who will escape in their private rockets, leaving the rest of us to certain death.