1. A Shocking Conflict of Interest?
Dear Environmental Activist
When Republican Congressman Paul Ryan was asked at a town hall meeting in Waterford, WI, about the need to end subsidies to oil companies, he responded, “I agree.” 
But just one week later, Ryan voted to give Big Oil billions in taxpayer-funded handouts. 
Now comes the shocking revelation that Congressman Ryan and his family are making thousands of dollars from oil companies that lease their land companies that stand to benefit from the same tax breaks Ryan is pushing.
“Newsweek” and the “Daily Beast” reported recently on what appears to be Ryan’s shocking conflict of interest:
“The financial disclosure report Ryan filed with Congress last month and made public this week shows he and his wife, Janna, own stakes in four family companies that lease land in Texas and Oklahoma to the very energy companies that benefit from the tax subsidies in Ryan’s budget plan.
“Ryan’s father-in-law, Daniel Little, who runs the companies, told Newsweek and The Daily Beast that the family companies are currently leasing the land for mining and drilling to energy giants such as Chesapeake Energy, Devon, and XTO Energy, a recently acquired subsidiary of ExxonMobil.
“Some of these firms would be eligible for portions of the $45 billion in energy tax breaks and subsidies over 10 years protected in the Wisconsin lawmaker’s proposed budget.” 
Not only has Ryan voted to give Big Oil companies like ExxonMobil billions in government handouts, but as the article notes he has also proposed a 2012 budget that also gives Big Oil billions in special tax breaks.  And as the point person on the budget for the Republican House leadership, Ryan has significant sway and influence on the congressional budget process.
At a time when middle-class families are feeling the pinch of an economy still on the rebound and state governments are facing massive budget shortfalls, Ryan is asking American taxpayers to continue providing massive government handouts for some of the world’s most profitable companies all while his family stands to benefit from some of those same companies’ profits.
Navin Nayak Senior Vice President, Campaigns League of Conservation Voters