Oil Lobbyist Publicly Warns President Obama; XL Pipeline or Lose Presidency?

I just wrote about the GOP holding the payroll tax bill hostage for the XL Pipeline, http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2011/12/congressional-allies-of-big-oil-hold-payroll-tax-bill-hostage-to-extort-xl-pipeline-deal/.  And now an oil industry lobbyist, Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, warns President Obama, “It would be a “huge mistake” (very Soprano like), for President Barack Obama to reject the 1,700-mile, Canada-to-Texas pipeline. Obama faces a Feb. 21 deadline to decide whether the $7 billion pipeline is in the national interest.” He went on to say that some 15 unions were backing the pipeline because of jobs, which I assume will be the issue—JOBS vs. ENVIRONMENT.  However,  many union members are against the pipeline, and especially Hoffa of the Teamsters:

Global warming is for real. Air pollution is killing people and making our children sick. And you know what? We share some of the blame. In the past, we were forced to make a false choice. The choice was: Good Jobs or a Clean Environment. We were told no pollution meant no jobs. If we wanted clean air, the economy would suffer and jobs would be sent overseas. Well guess what? We let the big corporations pollute and the jobs went overseas anyway. We didn’t enforce environmental regulations and the economy still went in the toilet. The middle class got decimated and the environment is on the brink of disaster. Well I say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! No more false divides. The future, if we are to prosper as a nation, will lie in a green economy.

http://www.labor4sustainability.org/articles/pipeline-climate-disaster-the-keystone-xl-pipeline-and-labor/.

Gerard reiterated that it was in the national interest to erect the pipeline (just like Hoffa stated happened before) and, “Gerard said the oil group has teamed up with at least 15 unions to support the pipeline, which would create thousands of jobs.” So let’s see the roll call on those unions. Are Teamsters involved after all and speaking from both sides of their mouth too?

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2012/01/04/oil_
industry_chief_warns_obama_on_canada_pipeline/

Um, someone really should tell both the oil industry and politicians involved that we are in a technical age and cannot lie about jobs lost from not erecting the pipeline. It was  just 1 ½ months ago Trans Canada retracted their statements about all the direct and indirect jobs created. The Washington Post broke the story:

TransCanada chief executive Russ Girling said Friday that the three-year review process has already imposed costs on his company, including $1.9 billion on pipe and other equipment stored in warehouses.

The carrying costs on those are material, and we continue to incur those costs,” he said, adding that further delays beyond the end of the year could force U.S. refineries that have signed contracts with TransCanada to look at alternatives, either other sources of supply or other transport means.

[]A key question for the administration is how many jobs the Keystone XL project would create. TransCanada’s initial estimate of 20,000 — which it said includes 13,000 direct construction jobs and 7,000 jobs among supply manufacturers — has been widely quoted by lawmakers and presidential candidates.

Girling said Friday that the 13,000 figure was “one person, one year,” meaning that if the construction jobs lasted two years, the number of people employed in each of the two years would be 6,500. That brings the company’s number closer to the State Department’s; State says the project would create 5,000 to 6,000 construction jobs, a figure that was calculated by its contractor Cardno Entrix.

As for the 7,000 indirect supply chain jobs, the $1.9 billion already spent by TransCanada would reduce the number of jobs that would be created in the future. The Brixton Group, a firm working with opponents of the project, has argued that many of the indirect supply jobs would be outside the United States because about $1.7 billion worth of steel will be purchased from a Russian-owned mill in Canada.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/keystone-pipeline-debate-heats-up/2011/11/04/gIQA824rpM_story.html

On top of the admission that the jobs just aren’t there, I already posted that the oil is not meant for us but China and that Canada wants more money from the U.S. for its tar sands oil but has to create demand to do so and that means getting it to Asia.

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2011/11/xl-pipeline-looks-to-be-a-good-deal-for-china-not-americans-alternate-route-through-british-columbia-being-considered/

So there you have it. Lies about jobs relative to the XL pipeline have been resurrected, as well as, lies about boosting the U.S. economy through our supply chain. I read a comment on one blogsite by a Canadian that stated they felt bad the U.S. was falling for the jobs claim when Canadians were promised the most jobs from the project, not Americans. Hmmm. Pushing for jobs wouldn’t be as bad if some of the biggest leaders in our oil industry had not already admitted greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. They know perfectly well that pushing for the pipeline will more than likely cause a magnitude of natural disaster down the line but hey money comes first and apparently China.

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2011/12/xl-pipeline-gets-new-commitments-although-top-oil-companies-admitted-greenhouse-gas-causes-climate-change-a-travesty-for-our-future/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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XL Pipeline Gets New Commitments Although Top Oil Companies Admitted Greenhouse Gas Causes Climate Change; A Travesty for Our Future

The XL Pipeline appears to be a done deal if you search the Internet. The links I’ve referenced below are all pretty much the same with breaking news that additional commitments have been made with TransCanada to deliver tar sands oil via the XL Pipeline from Canada to Houston. What ALL of the articles fail to disclose is just who these “new” commitments are? Is it U.S. big oil, the Koch Brothers, China, who? Did these new binding commitments come from GOP members of our congress that attached the XL Pipeline rider to the Payroll Tax Cut bill? None of the articles relate anything about the new attachment to the Payroll Tax Cuts but it sure seems a coincidence the rider appeared a few days ago and then TransCanada made its announcement about new commitments.

An article in the Vancouver Sun http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Keystone
+pipeline+delay+tragedy/5868403/story.html
about TransCanada’s CEO Russ Girling
pretty much says the same but that he wants no part of the wrangling going on in congress over it. Suuuuuuurrrrre. Liar. TransCanada has been lobbying big time for this pipeline. After the demonstrations against the pipeline TransCanada knew it would more than likely come to an act of congress to get their wish. That 100 million dollar sucker their dangling in front of us as a big benefit to the U.S. will never make it to the average citizen. Any profits will go to big oil’s coffers and fuel a backlash for more dirty energy. As for us, the gas at the pump will go sky high. Truth is Canada has been rubbing its palms together to raise prices at the pump for its oil to the U.S. for awhile. The plan is to create greater demand for the dirty crude by shipping it directly to Asia. A billion waiting consumers in China will do the trick.

Read about it:

http://dirtyoilsands.org/midwestgas.
http://stopbigoilripoffs.com/documents.
http://sierraclub.typepad.com/carlpope/2011/08/tar-sands-oil-keystone.html.
http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/10/28/356486/promoting-tar-sands-myths-cnns-steve-hargreaves-bets-keystone-xl-pipeline-will-be-approved/.

This is going to get nasty before it gets better. Using jobs to extort new filthy energy after big oil including Exxon admitted greenhouse gases contribute to climate change is suicide. And they want to take us with them. Oh we’ll have pocketfuls of money according to the pipeline supporters. Another suuuuurrrre!!! What good will that do against the wrath of Mother Nature in the end? And the trip to that end will be filled with more strange autoimmune diseases for our children due to pollution not to mention asthma and lung related problems. If we really liked the downpours, flooding, drought, and fires we’ve been experiencing there will surely be encore productions of that too.

Not long ago Exxon Mobil stated:

The world faces a significant challenge to supply the energy required for economic development and improved standards of living while managing greenhouse gas emissions and the risks of climate change, said Emil Jacobs, vice president of research and development at Exxon Mobil Research and Engineering Co. It’s going to take integrated solutions and the development of all commercially viable energy sources, improved energy efficiency and effective steps to curb emissions. It is also going to include the development of new technology.

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http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/07/14/14greenwire-exxon-sinks-600m-into-algae-based-biofuels-in-33562.html.

Conoco Phillips stated:

ConocoPhillips recognizes that human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that can lead to adverse changes in global climate

http://www.conocophillips.com/EN/susdev/policies/climate_change_position/Pages/index.aspx.

Royal Dutch Shell stated:

Royal Dutch Shell’s PLS chief said the implementation of climate change agreements made at Cancun last month “won’t happen overnight”, and policymakers must take action now “because the clock is ticking.

http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/you-know-climate-change-is-real-when-the-ceo-of-shell-states-the-clock-is-ticking-and-we-need-to-take-action-now/.

Links to articles about the “new commitments” to the XL Pipeline:

http://www.transcanada.com/5907.html.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/TransCanada-Announces-iw-1226478735.html.

http://www.bloomberg.com/article/2011-12-15/arEDwAwsRxw0.html.

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Congressional Allies of Big Oil Hold Payroll Tax Bill Hostage to Extort XL Pipeline Deal

That’s right. It is what it is and we’ve seen this act for quite a while. Riders that are detrimental to the environment and wildlife attached to important bills like the one that threw wolves under the bus are a regular occurrence in a far too corporate friendly congress these days. The Sierra Club, SaveOurEnvironment, and other environmental groups report that this morning congressional allies of big oil attached a rider to the Payroll Tax Cut bill “to ignore public input, good science and environmental laws and fast-track a decision on the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline in the next 60 days.”

I have to ask whether the country is ours any longer? It hasn’t been but a month since citizens showed up en masse to surround the White House protesting the XL pipeline because it’s an attack on clean air, is bound for Asia, not us, and it will ultimately hike our prices for gas at the pump when demand from a billion people happens.

I have to think this decision comes on the heels of China and Trans Canada’s inability to forge an alternate route for the dirty tar sands oil through British Columbia and exit to Asia through the ports there. As I wrote, British Columbia was being eyed as an alternate route for the tar sands pipeline as more and more resistance for it became apparent in the U.S. http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2011/11/xl-pipeline-looks-to-be-a-good-deal-for-china-not-americans-alternate-route-through-british-columbia-being-considered/. British Columbia citizens were up in arms and just recently First Nations of British Columbia, (native ancestry in the B.C. Canada area) banned the transport of tar sands oil across their land. http://www.tarsandsaction.org/bc-nations-unite-declare-province-wide-opposition-crude-oil-pipeline-tanker-expansion/.

So it appears pressure has been put back on us for “CHINA’S TAR SAND OIL.” And what is the U. S. supposed to say when we’re entangled with the communist country and a debtor to them? This is just the taste of the “nothing good” that will come of relations between us and China in the future when China infringes more and more on our land, wildlife, and citizen’s property. Remember eminent domain can happen anywhere along that XL pipeline meaning a U.S. citizen loses part of his/her property for the good of China and the profit of big oil. The citizen will only get the going market rate on his/her property that he/she didn’t want to give up to begin with. It’s treasonous to me that a citizen can lose his/her U.S. property to a foreign country.

Send a message to your senators now to stand strong against the XL Tar Sands Pipeline. It’s Canada’s problem.

https://secure.sierraclub.org/site/Advocacy?alertId=7587&pg=makeACall&autologin=true&s_src=211BLOUN02&JServSessionIdr004=p4d1zvnxl2.app223a

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While XL Pipeline Stalls, Gas Fracking Comes Under Closer Scrutiny for Contaminated Aquifer

According to Credo and a host of other environmental organizations, “The State Department and Obama Administration announced today that they will re-evaluate the route of the Keystone XL pipeline, and restart their environmental assessment, which take until at least the beginning of 2013 to complete.” So the new XL pipeline is stalled—for now. But in another email I received from Pro Publica, the EPA found a fracking compound in a Wyoming aquifer in an area plagued by citizen’s complaints their water was contaminated.
ProPublica’s article stated:

The Pavillion area [in Wyoming] has been drilled extensively for natural gas over the last two decades and is home to hundreds of gas wells. Residents have alleged for nearly a decade [1] that the drilling — and hydraulic fracturing in particular — has caused their water to turn black and smell like gasoline. Some residents say they suffer neurological impairment [5], loss of smell, and nerve pain they associate with exposure to pollutants.
The gas industry — led by the Canadian company EnCana, which owns the wells in Pavillion — has denied that its activities are responsible for the contamination. EnCana has, however, supplied drinking water to residents.

This information is based on raw sampling data but the article went on to say:

The chemical compounds the EPA detected are consistent with those produced from drilling processes, including one — a solvent called 2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE) — widely used in the process of hydraulic fracturing. The agency said it had not found contaminants such as nitrates and fertilizers that would have signaled that agricultural activities were to blame.
The wells also contained benzene at 50 times the level that is considered safe for people, as well as phenols — another dangerous human carcinogen — acetone, toluene, naphthalene and traces of diesel fuel.

I would say the people in that area and other fracking areas across the U.S. have a “legitimate” complaint now. This discovery will certainly open a big can of worms for the fracking industry.

READ THE WHOLE STORY at ProPublica’s website:
. http://www.propublica.org/article/epa-finds-fracking-compound-in-wyoming-aquifer.

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XL Pipeline Looks to be a Good Deal for China Not Americans; Alternate Route through British Columbia Being Considered

I did some research into the XL pipeline and reputable sources outlined a trail that leads back to China. China is investing in oil, gas, and alternative energy projects around the globe for its huge population and Canada is getting a lot of Chinese investment. According to an article from October this year by Senator Ron Wyden (OR), “Just last week, the New York Times reported that Sinopec, a Chinese oil company owned by the Chinese government, bought Daylight Energy, a Canadian oil and natural gas producer. This is the third major acquisition of a Canadian tar sands oil company by the Chinese government in recent months.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sen-ron-wyden/is-the-keystone-xl-pipeli_b_1016203.html. Just last year, “ConocoPhillips…agreed to sell its stake in Canadian oil sands producer Syncrude to a Chinese petroleum company for $4.65 billion. This marks the largest energy deal in North America by a company backed by China’s government.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/bc-politics/battle-brewing-over-pipeline-plans-in-bc/article2223417/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Home&utm_content=2223417. With the latest scandal about conflict of interest between lobbyists for Trans Canada who propose the pipeline and officials in the State Dept., plus growing dissent among Americans, President Obama has taken over the decision of the pipeline. It will come somewhere around January and will take into account both economic and environmental factors.

The economics relative to the XL pipeline as far as I can see are this:

China benefits. Trans Canada benefits. U.S. Big Oil benefits.

The jobs are negligible. Information straight from TransCanada stated:

Construction of the proposed Project, including the pipeline and pump stations, would result in hiring approximately 5,000 to 6,000 workers over the 3 year construction period. As indicated above, it is expected that roughly 10 to 15 percent of the construction workforce would be hired from local labor markets, thus 500 to 900 local workers throughout the entire region of influence would be hired.

http://www.labor4sustainability.org/articles/pipeline-climate-disaster-the-keystone-xl-pipeline-and-labor/.

After construction of the pipeline there won’t be any jobs. To do what? Watch it? All the pumping stations are monitored electronically. Even oil job websites make the statement that pipeline jobs are temporary, “To build a pipeline takes a huge initial investment, but once it’s built, the cost of labor and pipeline maintenance are fairly low. Contrast this to the cost of building and running tanker ships, another popular means of oil transportation. It costs far less to build a tanker than a pipeline but over the long run it’s more expensive due to fuel costs, staff, and maintenance.” http://www.jobmonkey.com/oilindustry/html/pipeline_jobs_overview.html

Lower prices at the pump will simply not materialize once the tar sands oil is shared with a nation of 1 billion plus consumers like China. I shouldn’t use the term shared. The pipeline for tar sands is predestined for CHINA whether through the U.S or Canada. Demand will go up and so will prices and Canadian Oil is all for it. It’s in the plans to get prices up on dirty tar sands oil. As Senator Wyden also commented in the same article from Huffington Post cited above:

[]There is plenty of evidence to suggest that Canadian oil producers view the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline as an opportunity to charge more for their oil. According to TransCanada, Canadian oil shippers could use the pipeline to add up to $4 billion to U.S. fuel costs. As I indicated in a letter to the FTC earlier this year, seven Canadian oil producer have already shown signs of having colluded to raise prices on gasoline for American consumers.[] Building the KXL pipeline would also mean that we would be helping our county’s biggest global competitor — China — meet its energy import needs at the expense of our own. Sounds like a great deal for China, but not such a good deal for the United States.

That’s quite a twist on what we’ve been told about the merits of the XL pipeline. We’re lied to once again by Big Oil advertising. There will be no hundreds of thousands of jobs and growing. It will not boost our economy but for Big Oil’s pockets and will possibly serve to raise prices at the pumps instead. And in the grand finale of it all we’re helping our biggest competitor with nothing in it for us.

Meanwhile a video of the environmental impact from developing a project like Alberta Tar Sands speaks a thousand words. We should not have done this. We should not perpetuate this practice any longer.

Canada’s Dirty Oil: Breaking Our Addiction – General audience (long version) from Dirty Oil Sands on Vimeo.

It’s time to move on to the 21st Century and away from fossil fuel. There is no need to tap INTO the earth when the environment has readily available, renewable sources for energy that have never been harvested in a big way. We’ll never switch to alternatives, if we continue our addiction to fossil fuels and enable other countries to use what will ultimately create more climate crisis worldwide.

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Nor’easter 2011 No Fluke; Worsening Weather and Related Economic Downfall Predicted Years Ago

Scientists predicted that there will likely be an increase in precipitation both in winter and spring for the eastern U.S., fires and drought for the southwest, bigger and worsening storms across the country in general, and a residual economic downfall in hard hit areas. Maybe the public should have taken the initiative to become more informed instead of blindly listening to their politicians relative to climate change. Unfortunately, I’m already seeing blogs popping up following yesterday’s Nor’easter blast on our east coast that question “global warming,” since there was so much snow and early. Be aware that precipitation means snow not just rain. We have El Nino conditions where cold air comes down on us suddenly and ferociously. And the U.S. cannot afford the increasing expense of attacks by Mother Nature.

I know there have been articles and news reports explaining to the public that global warming does not mean temperatures across the globe will be hotter EVERYWHERE. And worsening storms year round should be enough to convince the public that climate is indeed changing. I’ve blogged about both many times myself. As science is discovering, massive ice ages and warming events of the past did not encompass the entire globe. It may be better to state that climate change is brought about by global warming. Climate change means bigger, worse, extreme, and chaotic weather, and/or for places that were always cold it may be warmer, and places that were always warm may become colder. Change encompasses ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. It means there will be chaotic and varying weather events worldwide. We’ve seen enough to know better at this point.

I’ve put together a list of my own blogs on the subject of climate change due to global warming and can’t believe how soon we forget:

July 14, 2009

Predictions from Completed Government Report on Global Warming

A 196 page report entitled “Global Climate Change Impact on U.S.” predicts the scenarios we’ve already heard but failed to heed so far like worse weather, and property loss and the domino effect on everything else including the economy.

The report appears to be nonpartisan in nature, commissioned by the Bush Administration in 2007 and concluded just recently in the Obama Administration. It does reassure at the conclusion that a worsening scenario can be still be fixed.

The Midwest or Great Lakes region report is accurate. We are seeing more snow in winter and rain in early spring, and then we dry up the rest of the summer into fall. The bad thing is I think we’re getting more and windier too.

The good news is that the harshest impacts of future climate change can be avoided if the nation takes deliberate action soon. This can be done through a balanced mix of activities to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and adaptation to the otherwise unavoidable impacts.”

Unfortunately, there seems to be an economic downfall attached to each region as the result of global warming too. CEO of World Wildlife Fund expressed, “Already Americans are paying the price for the lack of action on climate change in the past and those costs will only rise. It’s time for Congress to act. ”

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2009/07/predictions-from-completed-government-report-on-global-warming/

February 9, 2010

The Likely Increase in Precipitation in Winter and Spring

The likely increase in precipitation in winter and spring was one of the key issues reported by the U.S. Global Change Research Program not long ago. It was relative to the Midwest…Well this is a winter downpour.

The U.S. has been hit by some record-breaking snowfalls for all time. One hundred million Americans have been affected by the current snowfall that’s not over yet. That’s one third of our entire population. This massive storm affects 26 states. In some places citizens just got their power back from the last blast. Six thousand flights have been canceled throughout the east coast.

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2010/02/the-likely-increase-in-precipitation-in-winter-and-spring/

February 23, 2010

Scientists Other Than IPCC Affirm Consensus on Global Warming

[]There needs to be much more communication to the public in laymen’s terms so that the public understands the science behind climate change and doesn’t buy into the misleading spin attached to every mistake turned up. The scientists at the AAAS symposium “expressed shock at the political effects of the disclosures (misleading info relative to climategate) and said the impact was far out of proportion to the overwhelming evidence that human activity is changing the Earth’s climate.”

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2010/02/scientists-other-than-ipcc-affirm-consensus-on-global-warming/

February 11, 2010

One Hundred Sixty Billion Tons of Snow

And like my recent blog, the increase in precipitation in the Midwest was predicted in the recent U.S. Climate Research Report. ABC ended their report with the same retort by scientists. They predicted this would happen. There will be bigger, and far worse storms year round. Amen.

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2010/02/one-hundred-sixty-billion-tons-of-snow/

February 10, 2010

Mother Nature Tops Off Snowmageddon with an Earthquake Near Chicago

Is anyone paying attention to Mother Nature yet? She’s slapping us in the face to wake up. But we’ll probably just toss off this doozy of a snowstorm as a freak. That is until around 4:00 am this morning a 3.8 earthquake rattled near Elgin, Illinois. It was felt in Chicago. The earthquake might have gained a little more attention to Mother Nature.

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2010/02/mother-nature-tops-off-snowmageddon-with-an-earthquake-near-chicago/

March 15, 2010

Thousands Without Power First from Snow, Now Rain

The heavy snowfalls across America were heralded to be from global cooling when in fact the snowfalls were the excessive precipitation predicted due climate change. Now that it is actually warm and torrential rainfall and high winds hit the same areas burdened earlier with snow, deniers need a new explanation.

According the Bangor News Daily, “The storm, which battered parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut on Saturday with gusts of up to 70 mph, struck about two weeks after heavy snow and hurricane-force winds left more than a million customers in the Northeast in the dark. More than a half-million customers in the region lost electricity at the peak of Saturday’s storm, and more than 485,000 were waiting for power to be restored Sunday morning.”

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2010/03/thousands-without-power-first-from-snow-now-rain/

This is enough when read back to back, although I could add in the summer’s record breaking heatwaves, as-well-as, the summer before. Heatwaves will surely happen again as predicted too. How much will it take until there is a public outcry for energy policy that directly addresses a decrease in greenhouse gases while diverting subisides to established business like big oil to become incentives to alternative energy companies, and an increase in public awareness to action at the same time?

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Sludge Hits Louisiana Shoreline

Oil has pushed 12 miles into some areas of marshlands of Louisiana while 65 miles of the coast has been infested with the reddish brown, sweet crude. Two major rookeries for pelicans, the state bird, are covered with oil, as are the pelicans. Yet no one is doing any cleanup along the shoreline? Governor Jindal is still waiting for the OK for permits for dredging to recreate the outer shoals and barrier islands that were once along Louisiana’s coasts in hopes of stopping more oil from hitting the shore. He was right to try to do that because what little I saw was oil so thick it was actually easy to round up and get out of the water. It’s not like light oil that floats on top of gravy or in salad dressing that is hard to see let alone skim off. I watched someone run a stick through the thick reddish stuff. A lot of it coated the stick and actually lifted out of the water like a slimy clump. So our government was right to say to BP either get on with the cleanup along the shoreline or step aside. It’s time to get cleanup crews out there in force. The problem is those crews will need to repeat the process over and over because the oil will keep coming. Plans to plug the leaking pipe this week are bleak. BP is not sure at all that attempts to cover it with massive amounts of mud and cement will do the job.

Meanwhile, Jindal is so frustrated that he plans to go ahead with dredging without the permits. He is right to do so from what I’ve seen. Oil trapped by the outer shoals would have kept that stuff from hitting the marshes and beaches, and perhaps much of the wildlife on shore. Dredging has consequences like disturbing the ecosystems on the ocean’s floor, but it is the lesser of two evils compared to a continuous barrage of oil hitting the beaches/marshes.

Watch the latest video from ABC News:

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Minerals Management Service to Be Split Up After Oil Spill; It’s About Time

Well wonders never cease. The Obama Administration is finally going to split up the Minerals Management Services agency that oversees the Gulf oil drilling projects, and Sec’y of Interior Salazar is in full support. According to the AP news release, “One agency would be charged with inspecting oil rigs, investigating oil companies and enforcing safety regulations, while the other would oversee leases for drilling and collection of billions of dollars in royalties.”

MMS has been accused of being too close to the oil industry it oversees, while handling all that money. It’s long been viewed as a conflict and we can clearly see why oversight may become lax in an environment where workers are indulged by big oil. The article on yahoo.com reminded:

An internal investigation in 2008 described a “culture of substance abuse and promiscuity” by workers at the minerals agency. The investigation by Interior’s inspector general found workers at the MMS royalty collection office in Denver partied, had sex with and used drugs with energy company representatives. Workers also accepted gifts, ski trips and golf outings, the report by Inspector General Earl E. Devaney said.

Devaney decried “a culture of ethical failure” and an agency rife with conflicts of interest.

More than half a dozen workers out of around 50 at the Denver office were disciplined — and several were fired — because of the scandal.

I remember that. That party should have ended long ago. Salazar is late on this one. But it looks like the Obama Administration is willing to move fast after this latest oil disaster. Offshore drilling is on hold and sale of new leases for drilling too. Unfortunately, some old leases for drilling in the Arctic held by Shell oil are coming up and Shell plans on forging ahead for now. Stay tuned.

Since Salazar is late on this call, I still think it’s a good time to give the once over to all the agencies/bureaus under the Department of Interior especially the cattle industry that’s near and dear to Salazar. There is too much room for conflict of interest and bad ethics whenever the same agency oversees some of the wealthiest industries around.

Read the whole article:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100511/ap_on_bi_ge/us_interior
_offshore_drilling
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