Saturday, August 08, 2015

Oil lobbyist supports oil lobby agenda

Remember back when Mary Landrieu was still a Senator and she set up a futile last minute run at forcing a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline?  The conventional wisdom at the time was that Mary was desperately trying to save her failing reelection campaign by appearing to "fight for Louisiana jobs" one last time. I didn't really buy that argument.  To me, it looked like Mary had already come to terms with her retirement from the Senate. The Keystone gambit, in that context, was really just resume padding for K Street.  If that is what it was, it worked.  
Former U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has been hired by the lobbying firm Van Ness Feldman (VNF), the company announced today. Landrieu's title will be "senior policy advisor," and a release from VNF said Landrieu would "advise clients on various public policy, strategic, and regulatory issues with an emphasis on energy, natural resources, and infrastructure matters."

According to the website Open Secrets, VNF's client base includes several companies dealing in oil and gas, as well as the energy field in general — a natural fit for Landrieu, who served as chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in 2014. The company has offices in Washington D.C. and Seattle.
The proper context for understanding Mary's actions toward the end of the Senate campaign was she was, at that point, auditioning for a job in the oil lobby.  Similarly, the proper context for understanding her actions now is she is currently employed as an oil lobbyist.
WASHINGTON – Former Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., has signed onto a group of former Democratic lawmakers opposing the Obama's administration's international agreement to limit Iran's nuclear program.

Landrieu is listed as a member of the all Democratic advisory board for Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran. Also on the board are former Sens. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Evan Bayh of Indiana;  Mark Begich of Alaska and former Reps. Shelley Berkley of Nevada, Gary Ackerman of New York and Peter Deutsch of Florida.
Oil is pretty cheap right now. The global market for petroleum is a complicated animal to describe but the most common belief among analysts is that the Iran deal is likely to drive prices downward as Iranian exports increase.  The Iran deal itself is also a complicated matter but the general consensus there is that it makes for a decent alternative to bombing more people.  That's also probably not the best news for Mary's clients. And they're who matter to Mary.

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