Inside The Statehouse
Posted by: Steve51
Date: Mar 01 2017 11:41 AM
We have unbelievable natural resources in
U.S. Steel swept in, bought the entire region, and used cheap labor in the mines and steel mills and kept poor whites and blacks in poverty wages and shantytowns. They owed their soul to the company store. Finally, they organized into labor unions. The United Steel Workers Union Local in
The TVA workers and Reynolds Aluminum workers in the
In the course of our recent history, we have been more prudent with our natural resources. The prime example of that would be during the late 1970s when we sold the oil rights in
Governor Fob James deserves credit for this accomplishment. It is the crowning achievement of his two terms as governor. It is quite a legacy. Not all governors leave a legacy. Ole Fob has one. Not as much can be said for our most recent governors. Don Siegelman, Bob Riley, and Robert Bentley cannot point to any accomplishment that will distinguish their time as governor.
Jim Folsom Jr., who only served two years as governor, can lay claim to having lured and landed Mercedes, which has been the crucible that has catapulted us into the second leading automaker in the nation.
Governor Bentley was given a golden opportunity to garner a place in history with the one-time BP oil spill money. Granted, it was not as much money as the Exxon Mobil oil rights nor did we get as good a settlement as could have been garnered. We will only see $693 million of the $1 billion settlement because we bailed out and sold out to get our money upfront. Compared to
Essentially this one-time windfall will be squandered. The BP money was appropriated in a special session last September. The legislature spent the entire BP oil settlement proceeds with a compromise bill that divided the money between state debt repayments, roads for Baldwin and
There had been a contentious battle over the funds for
Senators compromised the final day of the special session. The money from BP is spent. The only thing to show from it will be some highway to the beach. They ought to at least name it the BP Expressway. It would be the only legacy from the windfall.
See you next week.
Steve Flowers is