No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The New York Daily News reports that:

Rep. Joe Barton, the powerful Texas Republican who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, launched a bizarre investigation last week into possible antitrust violations by a major oil company.
This is a good thing, right? Actually, no.
In a Feb. 15 letter to Citgo, the Houston-based company owned by the Venezuelan government, Barton demanded that company officials produce by tomorrow all records, minutes, logs, e-mails and even desk calendars related to Citgo's novel program of supplying discounted heating oil to low-income communities in the United States.

The Citgo program, which kicked off late last year in Massachusetts and the South Bronx, provides oil at discounts as high as 60% off market price.
Barton, "one of the top recipients in Congress of campaign donations from the energy industry," is absolutely outraged. Why? Because Citgo is a state owned company. The state happens to be Venezuela and the President of Venequela happens to be Hugo Chavez. Hugo Chavez happens to be one of the most vocal critics of the policies of George W. Bush. Ahhh... now I understand. Not only does this 'Oil for the Poor' program make Barton's corporate handlers look bad, but it makes an opponent of Dear Leader look like a humanitarian! This must be stopped even if it means that poor Americans won't be able to heat their homes.

Wouldn't it just be easier for American Oil companies to come up with their own 'Oil for the Poor' programs? They're certainly flush with cash.
"ExxonMobil, for example, reported $36 billion in earnings last year. That's the largest profit ever recorded by any company in the history of modern commerce. It works out to an average of $98 million in profit for every day of last year."
I guess it'd just be too expensive...

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