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Fri Oct 23, 2020, 11:03 PM

Famous Forgotten Liberals: Leland Olds, Ruined by Big Oil

pinche tejano
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Thursday May 18, 2006 3:12 PM E

merica could use a man like Leland Olds right now. Olds, who was deeply religious and a brilliant mathematician, would lead a life long fight for public power. Olds had been a minister, where he preached the Social Gospel, a teacher at Amherst, and a researcher for federal agencies where he developed new formulas for economic systems. But what he was most known for was his wark as chairman of the Federal Power Commission. If his legacy had not been destroyed for political ambition of one man, we would not be paying 3 dollars at the pumps, and we might not even be at the pumps at all.

One of his major tenets was that America should have more cooperative public power systems instead of the private laissez-faire model which was prone to abuse, and is still being abused today. He believed that with regulation and community owned power generation and distribution, the quality of life of the average American would greatly improved.
He was also a watchdog for the oil and gas companies, making sure they did not gouge their customers. So he became a very large target of the Texas natural gas companies, who saw even the smallest and most reasonable limitation of their already vast profits as socialist tyranny. Enter Lyndon Johnson.

Lyndon Johnson used decades old newspaper articles to discredit Olds and tar him as a Communist, because his work as the FPC was excellent. Even though Olds and Johnson had worked together when LBJ was a young congressmen trying to bring power to his poor Hill Country constituents, Johnson knew that the Texas oil power block made and broke senators from the Lone Star state at their whim. Johnson stacked the subcommittee, which he been made chairman, with senators that would be unsympathetic to Olds. During the hearing Johnson allowed his handpicked witnesses, including several House members from Texas, to rail against Olds freely and at length. When Olds tried to defend himself, he was constantly interrupted ny Johnsons gavel calling for points of order.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2006/5/18/211452/-

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