Augusta Free Press

Bob Goodlatte’s latest payback to Big Oil at Virginia’s expense

A progressive group in Washington is bringing attention to Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte for what it says is Goodlatte’s political moves putting his special interest friends in Big Oil ahead of his constituents.

The congressman reportedly plans to introduce a bill today repealing the Renewable Fuel Standard, a successful policy that has been credited with supporting over 12,417 jobs and $1.9B of total economic output annually in Virginia. In Virginia’s Sixth Congressional District alone, renewable fuels support 1,274 jobs and generate $39.7M in wages annually.

Goodlatte has offered similar anti-RFS legislation before — legislation heavily lobbied for by the oil industry which has contributed over $135,000 to the Congressman’s campaign over the years.

Jeremy Funk, Communications Director, Americans United for Change, a pro-renewable fuels, pro-environment, pro-homegrown jobs group: “You could safely say there is no bigger cheerleader for Big Oil in Congress than Bob Goodlatte.  This is the same Congressman who held a press conference last year shilling for Big Oil and calling for a repeal of the RFS as cleanup efforts were still underway after an entire tanker’s worth of crude oil spilled in his District. What Goodlatte didn’t mention was that repealing the RFS would inevitably lead to more dependence on dirty crude oil and more spills and oil-industry related disasters like that in Lynchburg.

“Make no mistake: Goodlatte’s bill is written by-and-for Big Oil and is as much an assault on Virginia jobs as it is on renewable fuels. The Renewable Fuel Standard pumps nearly $2 billion into Virginia’s economy every year and puts thousands of people to work, but Congressman Goodlatte wants to mess with success because he’s completely in the tank for Big Oil.  Goodlatte’s legislation is nothing but another handout for the big oil industry that already reaps $4 billion in pointless taxpayer subsidies every year.  This is all about helping Big Oil put their cheaper, cleaner renewable fuels competition out of business.”

“The RFS isn’t just good for Virginia’s economy, it’s good for the environment by cutting down on carbon pollution. It’s good for consumers who’ve saved on average $1.09/gallon at the pump.  And it’s good for national security by cutting down our nation’s dependence on oil from unstable regions overseas by 45 percent.Goodlatte may be a lost cause when it comes to renewable fuels after Big Oil has given him more than 135,000 reasons to keep his head in the sand. But Goodlatte’s constituents should really take with a grain of sand any of his claims that scrapping the RFS is somehow good for Virginia.”