the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

September 27, 2005

Predictably, the First Condo Would be Called “The Roosevelt”


Representative Pombo (R-CA) is apparently gearing up for a little environmental jihadism: (Washington Post)

Imagine Theodore Roosevelt Island filled with strip malls and hundreds of luxury townhouses, all with breathtaking views of the Potomac River and the monuments. A new bridge would connect the newly developed island with George Washington Memorial Parkway.

That vision of the island’s future is contained in a House Resources Committee “brainstorming” document that was inadvertently released to the public. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) is looking for ways to raise $2.4 billion in new federal revenue.

This is reminiscent of another Pombo story from 2004.

As ANWR News reported, in Feb of 2004 Pombo argued that the Arctic Refuge could be sold off to pay for highways in his district:

Thanks to the Pombo Watch website (which seems dormant, for now), I came across an interesting letter that suggests oil drilling in ANWR is part of a plan to pay for construction of new highways.

It’s a letter dated Feb. 3, 2004, from House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) to Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), chairman of the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. In the letter, Pombo offers up ANWR oil revenues as a way to fund transportation projects in a massive transportation bill overseen by Young.

Pombo claims, somewhat haphazardly, that federal royalties and corporate taxes derived from ANWR drilling could generate some $400 billion for the treasury. And while he confesses that “it would be difficult to specifically capture the taxes generated on this new wealth” for transportation, it would nevertheless pump up the federal budget in general.

Interestingly, the Washington Post article suggests that the real motive for the Roosevelt Island proposal is as a ploy to justify drilling in ANWR. Whatever the case, this appears to be a favorite theme of Pombo’s: let’s sell the environment to corporations, and then use the proceeds to pay for a big government program which will put more money in the pocket of Republican donors.

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