Roy Innis

Remember The Sting, Oceans 11, Entrapment?

The “marks” were a bit unsavory, or rich guys or banks that “could afford” to get ripped off. The con artists were affable rogues, administering payback or playing Robin Hood. We rooted for the good guys, enjoyed the suspense, relished the climax, and had some laughs along the way.

Fraud and theft aren’t so enjoyable, however, when the marks are you, your family, your job, your investments and pension. The fun disappears when fiction becomes reality, and the sting is engineered by lobbyists, environmentalists and members of Congress.

That’s exactly where we are on energy – the foundation of our jobs, health, living standards, and everything we eat, drive, wear and do. We’re being set up for an elaborate sting that will benefit the few, at the expense of the many, and leave families, businesses and entire industries struggling to survive.

Since publication of my book, Energy Keepers - Energy Killers: The new civil rights battle, millions of Americans have become aware that this country has vast untapped energy resources.

Three-fourths of US voters now support expanded onshore and offshore drilling. A bipartisan coalition in Congress wants to increase domestic petroleum, coal and nuclear power, while fostering conservation and wind, solar and other energy opportunities.

They have been blocked at every turn by liberal Democrats, many of whom are working with radical environmentalists to eliminate proven hydrocarbon and nuclear technologies that provide 93% of our energy, and replace them with systems that currently generate less than 1% of the energy that safeguards our jobs, homes, security and prosperity. 

However, political realities and voter outrage over soaring gasoline, food and heating costs forced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid to devise an elaborate hoax. It had the trappings of a pro-energy bill – but was as authentic as the betting house and announcer in the classic Newman-Redford film, The Sting.

Their legislation “expanded offshore leasing” – but only beyond 100 miles off most of our coasts, and 50 miles off four states that would get no revenues from leasing or production, and thus would have no incentive to permit leasing. In other words, it allowed leasing only where there was no petroleum, or where drilling and production would be so far offshore and so expensive that no sane company would do it. The bill made 88% of our nation’s offshore oil and gas permanently off limits – along with jobs and some $800 billion in revenues that development would generate for state and federal governments.

Roy Innis

Roy Innis is national chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), one of America’s oldest and most respected civil rights groups, and a life-long advocate of economic development rights for poor families and communities around the world.