Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Joe Barton might be completely terrible, but he's not "Bailing Out" anyone

"He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house;
He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence."
Psalm 101:7

Obviously, this website doesn't like former Congressman Joe Barton.  In 2017, we were one of the first to call for his resignation over...all that.  But the truth is that we've not been a fan for a lot longer than that.

Thus, we were curious about the following headline in the Texas Observer:

Unfortunately, the article doesn't deliver the goods.

Turns out, Barton's launching an energy related lobby operation.  OK, fine.  There's a lot to criticize about the legislative/lobby revolving door.

But that's not where the Observer goes.

Instead, they attack him for...getting the ban on crude oil exports lifted:
[T]his week he reemerged with a lengthy retrospective in the Dallas Morning News humbly titled “I knew my bill to lift the ban on U.S. oil exports was important. I hardly expected it to change the world.” It’s an unusually revealing account of how Barton greased the congressional skids for one of the most consequential policies for oil and gas and the environment in modern political history.


The former lawmaker from Ennis paints himself as a shrewd legislative tactician with deep connections and policy know-how. He does not undersell the world-changing impacts of his handiwork. Not only is the U.S. now the top oil producer, but the introduction of American oil around the world has “destroyed OPEC’s ability to control world oil prices” and created a more “transparent” global energy market.


But as he details in his column, Barton set out to do the biggest favor of his career back in early 2014, when the Permian Basin was in the early days of a massive boom. New fracking technologies made it highly profitable to access the region’s huge reserves of oil hidden in dense shale formations. But fossil-fuel producers were sounding the alarm that the country’s existing domestic refining capacity couldn’t handle all of the newfound black gold.

So some of Texas’ oil behemoths began leaning on Barton to end the ban on crude oil exports from the United States, warning that the industry’s future depend on it.

Does the Texas Observer really think that Texas putting the Saudis out of business is a bad thing?!?

'Cause that's definitely what it sounds like.

Furthermore, how is Barton's effort a "bailout?!?"  Congressional action certainly expanded the markets available to Texan/American energy companies.  But expanding markets is hardly a "bailout."

It's kinda the opposite.

Which is a shame, because Barton's terrible.

But that doesn't change the fact that lifting the crude oil export ban was pretty much the only good thing he did in 30 years in Congress.

Bottom Line: For such a target rich environment, this was an odd selection.

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