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The Other Side of the Tracks blog by Word Press

Big Oil Goes Afoul…Again

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary

May 4, 2010

By Perry Redd

Here we stand once again, witnessing the fault and failure of greed and Republican conservative policy. One thing for certain, they will never say they’re wrong, but in reality, that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the Democrats failed to listen to their base—the progressives that said that drilling off America’s shores was a price too high to pay when (not if) oil wells explode or leak. Big oil won out, and the American people lost—yet again!

Conservatives admit that oil wells leak “all the time,” that risks are part of the game. What they don’t admit is that once these “mishaps” occur, the government is the one who has to “bail them out.” Republican conservative mindset is that commerce is more important than humanity; money more relevant than environment. The progressives have been consistent in the premise that, “if you take care of the base first—environment—then money will come. The problem with the neo-cons is there is never enough money!

But even as officials and residents wait for the oil to reach land, the slick has already taken a dramatic toll on life all along the Gulf Coast, bringing fishing and tourism to a halt in many places and threatening to cripple those industries for weeks to come. When will we get it? Reliance on fossil fuels mean that we’re needing more and more as the years go by. The “drill, baby, drill” mantra of the Republican right is among the most faulty of policies to hurt the American people. It appears that Americans don’t want to bail out the car industry; they don’t want to bail out the big banks nor bail out the insurance lenders…and for good cause: they’re thieves! I want to see if they can fathom that this spill is yet another bailout—of big oil!

The oil company BP—which operated the rig whose sinking caused the underwater oil gusher—partnered with government officials to hold town hall meetings throughout the region Saturday to respond to concern about the spill’s consequences. But frustration was growing in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. At a town hall meeting in Bayou La Batre, Alabama, Mayor Stan Wright warned fishermen in the audience that outbursts would be met with arrest. The fishermen were told that they were not allowed to ask questions. Can you imagine that in Congressional hearings in Congress? It shouldn’t be so for the people either! This is another example of coddling the oil industry. And BP has a terrible record to boot…but that’s another story.

There have been other spills: aside from the Bay City incident in 1990, Megaborg in Gavelston and the Exxon Valdez which we all know about, the Port Arthur spill on Januray 23rd, the New Orleans spill on July 28, 2008, the San Francisco Bay spill of November 2007, the Citgo refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana in June 2006, the one in Prudoe Bay, Alaska in March of 2006, the Athos 1 spill at Delaware River in November 2004…I could go on, but it’s clear that this destruction cannot be stopped—unless you stop it. Tell your member of Congress you don’t want this tragedy to happen again. Stop it now! Tell President Obama to quit kowtowing to the Republican right and backtracking on his policy of no American offshore drilling.

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