Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It is All Blackmail

I am particularly fond of this image in juxtaposition with the frog below. Frogs you know are vanishing at a concerning rate. And those remaining on our troubled planet are showing deformities in large percentages to the population. Some scientists are calling frogs our canaries in the mine.

And yet GW and his oil buddies want us to suspend all environmental controls on oil refineries and exploration. When he was governor of the state of Texas he made it the most polluted of the 50 and from the day he took office as president of the United States he has wanted to row back all EPA controls.

I have a friend that works in the Environmental Protection Agency and he says GW has virtually gutted the agency. The super fund that was suppose to clean up the worst of the abandoned mines that are leaking contaminated water with heavy metals into the earth was totally suspended. In my neck of the woods alone there is two or three of these major offenders to clean water that cause humped back fish and sick people. Catch and release in western streams has taken on a totally different purpose. No longer let the big wild fish breed but don't eat contaminated fish.

We gave oil companies major tax incentives for exploration and upgrading of their facilities to meet clean air and water standards. Have they used that or any of the huge profits they are currently raking in to build modern refineries that meet EPA standards? Have they searched for alternative fuels? Have they figured out ways to get the oil out of shale? (Incidentally there was a huge oil shale project in Grand Junction, Colorado which was abandoned because it was too costly. At the time they said if oil reached $50 a barrel it would be doable. Are they doing it at twice that?)

No to all those questions. They just sit and rake in the profits while their elected official (we certainly never elected him) berates congress for not passing his bills that would allow the oil companies to ruin not merely our National Parks, but our air and our water just because they do not want to spend some of that money to do it responsibly.

I lived in El Paso, Texas when I was a kid. It had refineries. They dumped sulfuric gas into the air
at an enormous rate. It changed the color of the land around it which seemed to grow nothing. And ultimately my family had to move because of the illnesses it caused with my brother and myself. When mother became pregnant with my sister she put her foot down. She did not care where we moved. Just away from there.

The EPA standards developed for oil refineries and coal generation plants and factories in general is so we can continue to breathe. So we still have frogs in ponds and fish we can catch in a mountain stream and eat. And if GW truly agrees that global warming is an issue then why is he fighting to put more carbon emissions into our atmosphere or cut the number of green, growing and living things down.

The oil companies have not built a refinery in 30 years because they were waiting for someone like GW to make it unnecessary for them to care about their neighborhood and the planet earth.