Murphy’s position helps Putin; Blumenthal shrugs off banks | Chris Powell

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Perhaps the best that can be said about US Senator from Connecticut, Chris Murphy, after his speech in the Senate last week is that he is Russian President Vladimir Putin. involuntary tool.

Murphy has scorned claims that producing more oil and natural gas in the United States is necessary for the nation’s energy independence and defense.

“The oil industry doesn’t drill to be patriotic,” Murphy said. “They drill to make money, and there’s never a guarantee that that oil or gas will stay in the United States.” He added: “You know how you make this country energy independent? Invest in renewable energy.

But the big argument for more production is not that the oil and gas industry is patriotic but that the national interest demands more production, especially now that this country’s European allies are at the mercy of supplies from a Totalitarian Russia waging a war of aggression.

Indeed, just weeks ago, the leader of Murphy’s own political party, President Biden, was urging the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to produce more oil so the United States could keep striking poses. politically correct and environmentally friendly like Murphy does.

Yes, the oil and gas industry strives to make money, but of course that is true of all industries, including the renewable energy industry. No industry is inherently virtuous. Murphy may have forgotten, but when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011, a solar energy startup called Solyndra went bankrupt after receiving a loan guarantee from the federal government, which cost the government more than half a billion dollars. Solyndra is just one of many failed “green” energy startups on which the federal government has lost hundreds of millions of dollars without making the country energy independent via renewables.

Yes, oil and gas are easily exported, unlike solar and wind energy. But Congress and the President could still enact legislation prohibiting their export, just as legislation could be passed to tax what might be called “excess profits” from the oil and gas industry or to increase royalties on government mineral rights. Banning energy exports, as Murphy seemed to approve of, would bolster Putin’s control over the energy supply of that country’s allies.

Of course, Europe’s energy problem is its fault, since Europe crippled its conventional energy and nuclear energy industries long before renewables could substantially replace them.

This seems to be the policy Murphy wants for the United States.

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Leading U.S. Senator from Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, wasn’t much more impressive last week on a different issue – the acquisition of Bridgeport-based People’s United Bank by M&T Bank of Buffalo, New York, which received its necessary final approval, from the Federal Reserve Board in Washington.

M&T said the combination will reduce People’s United’s Connecticut employment by 28%, 747 people.

Blumenthal said he was “deeply disappointed” by the impending layoffs. He added: “M&T Bank got off to a bad start in Connecticut, putting profits before people. I will continue to pressure the bank to reconsider these job cuts.”

It was the inefficient cant that is usual with Blumenthal. After all, any company that doesn’t “put profits before people” will soon be out of business, and anti-competitive big bank suits like these are subject to anti-trust law and banking regulations. That is, the government could restrict or ban them if it wanted to.

Blumenthal, who is seeking election to a third six-year term this year, could scare the big banks further if he proposes such legislation. Additionally, at any time, he can vote on President Biden’s nominees to the Federal Reserve Board. Although Blumenthal is not a member of the Senate Banking Committee, he could still ask the candidates where they stand on the continued consolidation of the banking sector, publish their answers and discuss their positions with his Senate colleagues before voting.

Instead, as soon as he expressed his disappointment with the bank layoffs, Blumenthal flew to Poland to be photographed with Ukrainian refugees, as if it would change something more than what had been changed by his expression of disappointment with the bank merger.

Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer.

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