Black Gold, Texas Tea
(-from the themesong of Beverly Hillbillies)
Venezuelan President (and Bush-archrival) Hugo Chavez is at it again. The oil-rich country (via Citgo, its U.S. subsidiary) is expanding home heating oil subsidies to Vermont and will provide 2.4 million gallons of heating oil at a 40% discount to households that qualify for state home heat assistance. Another 108,000 gallons will be donated to homeless shelters. (Quick aside: imagine being homeless in Vermont in winter and count your blessings!!) This follows similar arrangements that El Chavez has already brokered with politicians in Massachusetts and New York City.
Sr. Chavez has been a thorn in the side of the Bush Administration with his hard-lefty policies, maybe it offends Bush's sensibilities to see someone helping poor people. Anyway, since Venezeula is sitting on a shitload of oil, Chavez has some clout on the global scene. His latest example of petro-diplomacy in Vermont should only expand his sphere of influence, no doubt to the chagrin of the Bushes and the Saudi royal family.