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Screw the Environment: BP and the Audacity of Greed

By Dave Lindorff

Even as BP’s blown well a mile beneath the surface in the Gulf of Mexico continues to gush forth an estimated 70,000 barrels of oil a day into the sea, and the fragile wetlands along the Gulf begin to get coated with crude, which is also headed into the Gulf Stream for a trip past the Everglades and on up the East Coast, the company is demanding that Canada lift its tight rules for drilling in the icy Beaufort Sea portion of the Arctic Ocean.

In an incredible display of corporate arrogance, BP is claiming that a current safety requirement that undersea wells drilled during the newly ice-free summer must also include a side relief well, so as to have a preventive measure in place that could shut down a blown well, is “too expensive” and should be eliminated.

Will Marcy Winograd Pull a Sestak and Beat Jane Harman in the June 8th California Primary?

By Linda Milazzo

Americans spoke out loudly this past Tuesday. In two of the nation's most anticipated primaries, the Sestak vs. Specter Democratic primary in Pennsylvania and the Paul vs. Greyson Republican primary in Kentucky, the party underlings defeated their party leaders' choices and demolished the status quo. On the Democratic side, despite the full throttle barrage for Specter by Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey and Governor Ed Rendell, Congressional upstart Joe Sestak beat three decade incumbent Arlen Specter by 54 to 46 percent.

In Kentucky, political neophyte, libertarian extremist, and tea party enthusiast, Rand Paul, clobbered the hand picked candidate of Senator Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican in D.C. The results of both elections send an earsplitting message to the leadership of America's two dominant parties, that warns: 'Your choices, endorsements and power don't matter. We're electing who WE want.'

Trucking Toward Climate Change

Trucking Toward Climate Change
By Dahr Jamail | Truthout

The tar sands mining project in Alberta, Canada, is possibly the largest industrial project in human history and critics claim it could also be the most destructive. The mining procedure for extracting oil from a region referred to as the "tar sands," located north of Edmonton, releases at least three times the CO2 emissions as regular oil production procedures and will likely become North America's single largest industrial contributor to climate change.

Most of the oil produced by the project will likely be consumed by the United States, a country that, along with Canada, is already heavily invested, on many levels, in the project.

The project is operated by Imperial Oil, whose parent company, ExxonMobil Canada, has a long-term production goal of more than 300,000 barrels of bitumen (extra heavy oil) per day. To do this, they will require new equipment to be shipped through the United States.

Trucks and trailers moving specialized, nontoxic mining equipment from where it is manufactured in Korea to the Kearl oil sands project, located in the Athabasca oil sands in northeastern Alberta, are slated to use highways in Idaho and Montana to transport the gear. This would happen after it has been shipped across the Pacific Ocean to Portland, Oregon, where it would then be barged up the Hood and Snake Rivers to Lewiston, Idaho, from which it would be hauled over land into Canada. Read more.

Weekly Address: BP Spill Independent Commission

Obama’s BP Disaster Commission: Looking Forward with No Subpoenas
By emptywheel | FireDogLake

As promised Obama signed an executive order forming a presidential commission to study the BP disaster today. I thought it’d be instructive to compare what he just formed with what Edward Markey and Lois Capps proposed. Starting with this detail:

 

Sec. 4. Administration. (a) The Commission shall hold public hearings and shall request information including relevant documents from Federal, State, and local officials, nongovernmental organizations, private entities, scientific institutions, industry and workforce representatives, communities, and others affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, as necessary to carry out its mission. [my emphasis]

Obama’s envisioning this Commission “requesting” information from entities like BP and Halliburton. Capps and Markey, however, envision subpoenas: Read more.

Lessons from the Gulf


Lessons from the Gulf
By Stephen Lendman

On April 22, AP reported the news - an initial April 20 explosion, then a larger one igniting Deepwater Horizon's oil drilling platform that burned for more than a day before sinking and releasing thousands of barrels of oil daily into surrounding waters, enough potentially to cause the greatest ever environmental disaster if not sealed in time to prevent.

Transocean Ltd. owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon platform under contract to BP Exploration and Production Inc., a division of BP - 4th on Fortune Global 500 with $239 billion in 2009 operating revenue and $14 billion in profits. It ranked fourth behind Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and Wal-Mart. Of the world's 10 largest companies, six are oil giants. Transocean, an offshore drilling contractor, owns operates about 140 drilling rigs. More on its culpability below.

On April 29, the Institute for Southern Studies published "Facts and Figures" about the Gulf explosion and emerging disaster saying:

Democrats Want Criminal Inquiry Into BP

Democrats want criminal inquiry into BP
By Jake Sherman | Politico

Eight Democratic senators asked the Obama administration Tuesday to open a criminal investigation into BP for allegedly making false statements to authorities about the ability to stop a massive oil spill.

Democrats on the Environment and Public Works Committee are taking aim at a BP statement in a Feb. 23, 2009, document submitted to the Minerals Management Service, in which the oil company claimed that “in the event of an unanticipated blowout resulting in an oil spill, it is unlikely to have an impact based on the industrywide standards for using proven equipment and technology for such responses.”

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, the Democratic senators contrast the 2009 statement with BP’s May 10, 2010, press release, in which the company claims “uncertainties” with the methods used to stop the oil leak because “they have not been tested in these conditions before.” Read more.

Baby You Can Drive My Oil Spill

Asked the earth what it wanted to be
It said baby, can't you see
I wanna be dirty, with oceans of oil
Stick in your toes and feel them boil

Drill Baby Drill my gas
Yes the fish are dying fast
Drill Baby Drill my gas
And BP will love you

BP 'm BP yeah

I told the earth that her prospects weren't good
she said baby, it's understood
I may be reaching the end of the line
But the BP executives are living fine

Drill Baby Drill my gas
Yes the fish are dying fast
Drill Baby Drill my gas
And BP will love you

BP 'm BP yeah

Drill Baby Drill my gas
Yes the fish are dying fast
Drill Baby Drill my gas
And BP will love you

I told the earth I can start here today
Clean up this mess and lock those bastards away
There're no more fish and it's breaking my heart
But BP's in trouble now and that's a start

Drill Baby Drill my gas
Yes the fish are dying fast
Drill Baby Drill my gas
And BP will love you

BP 'm BP yeah
BP 'm BP yeah
BP 'm BP yeah
BP 'm BP yeah

Take Action: Environmental Activist Facing Prison Time For A Banner Drop As Massey Murders & BP Kills Gulf Environment

Now Ted [Glick] is facing up to three years in jail. Based on the [DC] judge's comments last week, it really does appear that he will be incarcerated for at least a month or two.

Please read and view more below and write letters to:
Judge Frederick H. Weisberg
DC Superior Court
500 Indiana Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001

This from Mike Tidwell, asking that we protest Ted's incarceration AND sign the petition to stop offshore drilling...

Dear Friends,

Despite the Gulf disaster, no one from BP has been arrested and sent to jail. Despite safety violations at coal mines, no one from Massey Energy has been handcuffed. But today I write to inform you that one of America's best global warming activists is probably facing several months of jail. He's been convicted by a D.C. jury, and now he awaits sentencing on July 6th. Why? Because he peacefully dropped two banners on Capitol Hill that said: "GREEN JOBS NOW" and "GET TO WORK."

I'm not joking. Ted Glick of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network was convicted by a jury May 13th of peacefully dropping the banners inside the U.S. Senate Hart Office Building last September. The DC U.S. Attorney's office clearly has decided to make an "example" of Ted because of his previous two -- count 'em, two -- convictions related to peaceful acts of climate civil disobedience. Can you believe it? You can see a three-minute video of Ted's September "crime" right above. He's the guy toward the end simply lowering the banners. Period.

Now Ted is facing up to three years in jail. Based on the judge's comments last week, it really does appear that he will be incarcerated for at least a month or two.

So here's what you can do:

BP Oil Spill Live Feed

Take Action: Washington - Industry Complicity Behind the Gulf Disaster


Washington - Industry Complicity Behind the Gulf Disaster
By Stephen Lendman

It's common practice in America. A government-Wall Street cabal caused the financial crisis and subsequent fallout. Now debated financial reform is a stealth scheme to let bankers self-regulate. Rogue Democrats rammed through health reform to ration care and enrich corporate providers. Defense, technology, and related firms profit hugely from permanent wars, and a regulatory-free Washington - energy industry alliance lies at the root of the Gulf disaster, by far America's greatest ever environmental calamity, worsening daily with no fail-safe, or perhaps any, way to stop it.

It's too big even for the major media to ignore - to wit, on May 15, New York Times writer Justin Gillis headlined, "Giant Plumes of Oil Found Forming Under the Gulf of Mexico," saying:

Alarming reports show "Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery" shows that BP and the Obama administration lied about the incident's severity, and they're still lying.

According to University of Georgia researcher Samantha Joye, "There's a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to" what's visible on the surface, the tip of a big and growing iceberg, this one containing oil. "There's a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column."

Worse still, it's depleting Gulf oxygen, prompting fears about killing sea life in the effected areas and permanently destroying the livelihood of area fisherman who supply 20% of the nation's supply.

Already since April 20, oxygen levels are down 30%, a pace that if maintained "could draw (it) down to very low levels that are dangerous to animals in a couple of months. This is alarming."

Even The Times admits the daily flow may be as high as 80,000 barrels (3.4 million gallons or the equivalent of an Exxon Valdez spill around every three days). Yet the Obama administration and BP still claim only 5,000 barrels a day, and company officials won't let scientists use sophisticated instruments to measure the output more accurately on the ocean floor. Clearly they have something to hide, but there's no way to suppress the growing ecological devastation once clear evidence substantiates it.

Massey Execs Called Killers

Massey execs called killers
By Chris Togneri | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Chanting protesters surrounded the historic Jefferson Hotel on Tuesday morning, demanding the criminal prosecution of Massey Energy Co. board members and CEO Don Blankenship.

Six weeks after an explosion inside the Massey-owned Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, W.Va., killed 29 men and injured two -- making it the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in 40 years -- company shareholders met for their annual meeting in a ballroom inside the hotel.

Outside, protesters wore orange prison jumpsuits with Blankenship's name printed on the back. Others held signs accusing Massey of manslaughter.

"Fines are not enough," said Kevin Zeese, executive director for the Campaign for Fresh Air & Clean Politics in Maryland. "We need to prosecute the leaders of this company. Blankenship is the main target. He's got to be stopped from killing again."

Zeese and others in the crowd of more than 1,000 protesters said Massey officials must be held accountable for an industry-leading 52 deaths during the past 10 years.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Charleston, W.Va., said Friday it is investigating Massey subsidiary Performance Coal Co., the company operating Upper Big Branch, for "willful criminal activity." Read more.

At What Cost? BP Spill Responders Told to Forgo Precautionary Health Measures in Cleanup

At What Cost? BP Spill Responders Told to Forgo Precautionary Health Measures in Cleanup
By Riki Ott | Huffington Post

Local fishermen hired to work on BP's uncontrolled oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico are scared and confused. Fishermen here and in other small communities dotting the southern marshes and swamplands of Barataria Bay are getting sick from the working on the cleanup, yet BP is assuring them they don't need respirators or other special protection from the crude oil, strong hydrocarbon vapors, or chemical dispersants being sprayed in massive quantities on the oil slick.

Fishermen have never seen the results from the air-quality monitoring patches some of them wear on their rain gear when they are out booming and skimming the giant oil slick. However, more and more fishermen are suffering from bad headaches, burning eyes, persistent coughs, sore throats, stuffy sinuses, nausea, and dizziness. They are starting to suspect that BP is not telling them the truth.

And based on air monitoring conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a Louisiana coastal community, those workers seem to be correct. The EPA findings show that airborne levels of toxic chemicals like hydrogen sulfide, and volatile organic compounds like benzene, for instance, now far exceed safety standards for human exposure.

For two weeks, I've been in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama sharing stories from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which devastated the community I lived and commercially fished in, with everyone from fishermen and women to local mayors to state governors and the crush of international media.

During the 1989 cleanup in Alaska, thousands of workers had what Exxon medical doctors called, "the Valdez Crud," and dismissed as simple colds and flu. Fourteen years later, I followed the trail of sick workers through the maze of court records, congressional records, obituaries, and media stories, and made hundreds of phone calls. I found a different story. As one former cleanup worker put it, "I thought I had the Valdez Crud in 1989. I didn't think I'd have it for fourteen years." Read more.

TomDispatch: The Relentless Pursuit of Extreme Energy, A New Oil Rush Endangers the Gulf of Mexico and the Planet

From TomDispatch this afternoon, a striking analysis of what the BP oil-leak disaster in the Gulf of Mexico really means, and a reminder that it signals the grim beginning of a new oil rush in an onrushing age of "tough oil" -- Michael T. Klare, "The Relentless Pursuit of Extreme Energy, A New Oil Rush Endangers the Gulf of Mexico and the Planet."

"Yes, the oil spewing up from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico in staggering quantities could prove one of the great ecological disasters of human history," begins energy expert and author of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet Michael Klare. "Think of it, though, as just the prelude to the Age of Tough Oil, a time of ever increasing reliance on problematic, hard-to-reach energy sources. Make no mistake: we’re entering the danger zone. And brace yourself, the fate of the planet could be at stake."

Klare is one of our foremost analysts on the coming age of tough oil and of natural resource scarcity. In his latest TomDispatch.com post, he reminds us of a simple fact when it comes to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April 20th in the Gulf of Mexico: "Whether or not the immediate trigger of the explosion is ever fully determined, there can be no mistaking the underlying cause: a government-backed corporate drive to exploit oil and natural gas reserves in extreme environments under increasingly hazardous operating conditions."

This is a subject on which Klare has been a pioneer in his analysis. Here he focuses on the new oil rush in search of energy reserves into some of the most difficult areas of the planet -- the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Arctic which, by their very nature, involve an ever increasing risk of human and environmental catastrophe -- something that has been far too little acknowledged.

Klare concludes his important new piece on what the BP ecological disaster really portends this way: "The Deepwater Horizon explosion, we assuredly will be told, was an unfortunate fluke: a confluence of improper management and faulty equipment. With tightened oversight, it will be said, such accidents can be averted -- and so it will be safe to go back into the deep waters again and drill for oil a mile or more beneath the ocean’s surface. Don’t believe it... The ultimate source of the disaster is big oil’s compulsive drive to compensate for the decline in its conventional oil reserves by seeking supplies in inherently hazardous areas -- risks be damned. So long as this compulsion prevails, more such disasters will follow. Bet on it." This is a major piece of analysis. Don't miss it. Read it now.

Protesters Gather At Massey Annual Meeting


Protesters gather at Massey annual meeting
By Dena Potter, AP | Google News

A mixture of union representatives and anti-mining activists gathered outside a historic Richmond hotel Tuesday morning to protest against a common foe — Massey Energy Co.

Hundreds of people sang songs, chanted and held signs across the street from the Jefferson Hotel, while Richmond-based Massey's board opened its annual stockholders meeting inside. Their protests were focused on Massey CEO Don Blankenship, calling for him to resign or to be prosecuted on environmental and workplace safety issues.

The meeting has attracted more attention than usual because it comes six weeks after 29 miners died in an explosion at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. The blast is the nation's worst coal mining disaster in 40 years and has prompted an outpouring of criticism of Massey.

At least two people were arrested inside the hotel by Richmond police. Hotel officials declined to comment, and police did not immediately identify who was arrested or why.

Environmental group Rising Tide DC said group members Kate Finneran, 22, and Oscar Ramirez, 25, were arrested after unfurling a 10-by-10 hand-painted banner that read "Massey: Stop Putting Profits Over People" from the mezzanine above the grand foyer in the hotel. They were charged with trespassing and were expected to be released Tuesday afternoon. Read more.

BP's Nuke-Powered Liability Cap


BP's nuke-powered liability cap
By Harvey Wasserman | Solartopia | May 17, 2010

As BP destroys our priceless planet, its lawyers gear up to save the company from paying for the damage. The same will happen---only worse---with the next atomic reactor disaster.

By law, BP may be liable for only $75 million of the harm done by the Deepwater Horizon.

Ask yourself why the federal government would adopt legislation that limits the liability of an oil driller for the damage it does to us all.

Ask the same question---on another order of magnitude---about nuclear power plants.

Some lawmakers have tried to raise this cap so BP could be made to pay for the wounds they have not yet stopped inflicting.

By any calculation, BP did more than $75 million in harm during the first hour of this undersea gusher. That sum won't begin to cover even the legal fees, let alone the tangible damage to our only home.

But "free market" Republicans have resisted raising the limit. So BP will walk away virtually scot free. All this will be tax deductible. So will the millions they'll spend changing the name of the company, and dumping all those pathetic "Beyond Petroleum" pamphlets.

Now imagine a melt-down alongside the blow-out. See the Deepwater Horizon as a nuclear power plant. Think of the rickety Grand Gulf, a bit to the north, or the two decaying reactors at South Texas, a ways to the west.

Imagine that apocalyptic plume of oil ravaging our seas as an airborne radioactive cloud.

Congressional Climate Bills - Stealth Schemes to Raise Energy Prices and Enrich Wall Street


Congressional Climate Bills - Stealth Schemes to Raise Energy Prices and Enrich Wall Street
By Stephen Lendman

On June 26, 2009, HR 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACESA) passed, purportedly "To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy."

In fact, it lets energy polluters raise prices for huge windfall profits and gives Wall Street a bonanza through carbon trading derivatives speculation. Catherine Austin Fitts' Solari.com blog explained it last July in her article titled, "The Next Really Scary Bubble" is coming, saying:

"If you think the housing and credit bubble diminished your financial security and your community, or the bailouts, or the rising gas prices did as well, hold on to your hat" for what's ahead. "Carbon trading is gearing up to make the housing and derivative bubbles look like target practice," or in other words, be the mother of all scams, courtesy of administration, House and Senate collaboration with Wall Street and the energy giants.

Now the Senate version - a clean energy bill? Not according to the Center for Biological Diversity calling it:

"a disaster for our climate and planet. (The Kerry-Lieberman) proposal moves us one baby step forward and at least three giant steps back in any rational effort to address the climate crisis. (Their bill) would entrench our addiction to fossil fuels by offering incentives for increased oil and gas drilling just days after what appears to be the worst offshore oil disaster in American history."

Their proposal includes "no safeguards....to make offshore oil safe. (It) echoes greenhouse pollution reduction targets that scientists recently called 'paltry' and inadequate to prevent the worst impacts of climate change....The Kerry-Lieberman (bill) is not the answer because it asks the wrong questions."

Slippery Talk: Obama Has Learned Nothing from the BP Blowout

By Dave Lindorff

(This article appears in full in the new ThisCantBeHappening.net, an e-newspaper put out by the TCBH News Collective)

President Obama claims to have learned a lesson from the disastrous blowout of British Petroleum drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico: a “cozy relationship” between the agency that regulates oil drilling, the Minerals Management Service, and the oil industry, he charges, allowed companies to drill in vulnerable offshore areas without properly assessing the risks to the ocean and its ecology.

He’s only just figuring this out?

Damage Across the Globe


Quest for oil leaves trail of damage across the globe

Like many of her neighbors, Celina Harpe is angry about the oil pollution at her doorstep. No longer can she eat the silvery fish that dart along the shore near her home. Even the wind that hurries over the water reeks of oil waste.

"I get so mad," she said. "I feel very sad."

Harpe, 70, isn't a casualty of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. She lives in a remote corner of Alberta, Canada, where another oil field that's vital to the United States is damaging one of the world's most important ecosystems: Canada's northern forest. Continued

Dome or Junk Them


Dome or Junk Them
By Missy Comley Beattie

Sen. Joe Lieberman has introduced legislation to deprive Americans of their citizenship rights if they engage in acts of terrorism. He advocates turning the bad guys over to the military. Of course, other lawmakers are moving in Lieberman’s misdirection in a nationalistic stampede. So far, John Mc-NeverWasAMaverick-Cain and Chuck Schumer have shown support.

McCain said, “ Americans should lose their citizenship rights if they’re designated an enemy combatant, yes.”

Not to be out-patrioticized, Schumer was quick with a, “That sounds like something I’d support, but I’d have to look at the legislation.”

Attorney General Eric Holder is talking about “modifying” Miranda rights in certain cases.

And there’s this:

Elena Kagan, the president’s choice to join the Supremes agrees with the Bush Administration that anyone suspected of helping finance al- Qaida should be stripped of rights and held under indefinite detention, without trial. Obama’s selection of Kagan shines a spotlight on his inner Bush. In fact, Obama hasn’t seen a Bush action he truly disavows.

BP Oil Spill Gulf Coverage

Huge Oil Plumes Found Under Gulf as BP Struggles | ABC News

Oil from a blown-out well is forming huge underwater plumes as much as 10 miles long below the visible slick in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists said as BP wrestled for a third day Sunday with its latest contraption for slowing the nearly month-old gusher.

Less Toxic Dispersants Lose Out in BP Oil Spill Cleanup | NY Times

BP PLC continues to stockpile and deploy oil-dispersing chemicals manufactured by a company with which it shares close ties, even though other U.S. EPA-approved alternatives have been shown to be far less toxic and, in some cases, nearly twice as effective.

Oil spill imperils an unseen world at the bottom of the gulf | Washington Post

In total darkness at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico lives a creature with many scuttling legs and two wiggling antennae that jut from a pinched, space-alien face. It is the isopod, Bathynomus giganteus, a scavenger of dead and rotten flesh on the mud floor of the gulf.

BP oil spill: And a child shall lead them | Miami Herald

An absolutely true news item: British Petroleum says it is considering a plan to plug the main leak on the sunken Deepwater Horizon oil rig by shooting it full of shredded car tires, old golf balls and knotted ropes.

Rig Workers Made to Sign Statements after Blast | CBS News

Workers aboard an exploding offshore drilling platform were told to sign statements denying they were hurt or witnessed the blast that rocked the rig, killed 11 and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the ocean, their attorneys said Tuesday.

Central Command Turns To Twitter To Solve The Gulf Oil Spill. Uh Oh. | Tech Crunch

...BP and several other organizations working on the spill are apparently running out of ideas. And they’re turning to Twitter, according to gCaptain.

Crew Argued Over Drilling Plan Before Rig Explosion

Crew Argued Over Drilling Plan Before Rig Explosion
By Russell Gold | WSJ

About 11 hours before the Deepwater Horizon exploded, a disagreement took place between the top manager for oil giant BP PLC on the drilling rig and his counterpart for the rig's owner, Transocean Ltd., concerning the final steps in shutting down the nearly completed well, according to a worker's sworn statement.

Michael Williams, a Transocean employee who was chief electronics technician on the rig, said there was "confusion" between those high-ranking officials in an 11 a.m. meeting on the day of the rig blast, according to a sworn statement from Mr. Williams reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Williams himself attended the meeting.

The confusion over the drilling plan in the final hours leading up to the explosion could be key to understanding the causes of the blowout and ultimately who was responsible.

What is known from drilling records and congressional testimony is that after the morning meeting, the crew began preparations to remove from the drill pipe heavy drilling "mud" that provides pressure to keep down any gas, and to replace this mud with lighter seawater.

Ultimately, the crew removed the mud before setting a final 300-foot cement plug that is typically poured as a last safeguard to prevent combustible gas from rising to the surface. Indeed, they never got the opportunity to set the plug. Read more.

Project Runaway

By Missy Comley Beattie

Eleven people lost their lives when the explosion occurred. British Petroleum is being sued. BP has slipped though the cracks between right and wrong, over and over again. Will this company really be held accountable?

Regardless, our planet cannot sustain the damage.

How many people understand that what has occurred in the Gulf of Mexico is cataclysmic?

I know that for eleven families the death of a loved one is numbing and, then, shockingly assaulting. But beyond this, beyond the pain of fresh death, the aftermath is shattering loss. Some will outlive the paralyzing grief and go forward. Others will be consumed, unable to move with purpose to enjoy the rest of their lives.

The disaster that is unfolding from the oil hemorrhage will continue for decades and, maybe, even centuries. Actually, the REAL truth is that recovery may never occur.

Four hundred species of animals are at risk.

Livelihoods are destroyed.

The United States Needs a Green New Deal

My talented young cousin works as a rocket scientist at a local aerospace plant. She considers herself one of the lucky MIT grads who landed a job in the space end of the aerospace industry.

Her friends, however, are designing drones that sometimes miss their terrorist target, accidentally bombing innocent brides and grooms in Afghanistan.

My cousin tells me about a colleague of hers, a drone-builder, who had a nightmare; she accidentally droned her own bedroom.

“She’s still designing these drones, though,” my cousin tells me. “That’s where the money is, the jobs, in military contracts, in building sophisticated weapons systems.”

What if our engineers, now building weapons, could build solar cities instead? Under the Solar America Initiative, Boeing started the ball rolling, contracting with the Department of Energy to make solar energy competitive with conventional electricity by 2015.

Aerospace conversion could happen – and should for the sake of our planet.

Ecosystem in Peril after Gulf Oil Spill

Ecosystem in Peril after Gulf Oil Spill
By Matthew Cardinale | IPS

With engineers giving a best-case scenario of "weeks" before the catastrophic oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is sealed, some scientists are warning that the region's ecosystem could face major long-term damage.

As many as 70,000 gallons of oil per day have been gushing into the waters of the Gulf Coast since an oil rig operated by British Petroleum exploded on Apr. 20. The well itself is located at a depth of about 5,000 feet, presenting formidable obstacles to efforts to shut it down.

The spill is expected to ultimately eclipse the 11-million-gallon Exxon Valdez spill in 1989, the worst oil spill in U.S. history. It is not known how much oil could potentially pour into the Gulf before the leak is plugged.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says water sampling collected on May 1 and 2 along the Louisiana coast found chemicals associated with oil. "However, these results still indicate that water quality does not pose increased risk to aquatic life, such as fish and shellfish," the agency said in a statement.

"As of May 4, 2010, water sampling results off the Gulf Coast still indicate that water quality does not pose increased risk to aquatic life," the EPA said.

However, Riki Ott, a toxicologist who wrote two books about the Exxon Valdez spill, says she believes the scenario is far worse than officials are presenting to the public.

"BP is trying to say we're winning because oil has not hit the shoreline. That is far from the truth: we're losing. So much toxic oil is spilling every day, they're hammering it with dispersants, another toxic chemical," she said.

BP says it has used about 400,000 gallons of dispersant, which breaks down the oil, and has another 805,000 gallons on order. Read more.

As We Die For BP, Our Military Rots In The Wrong Gulf


As we die for BP, our military rots in the wrong Gulf
By Harvey Wasserman | May 12, 2010

As you read this, the life of our bodies, nation and planet is being blown out a corporate hole in the Gulf of Mexico and into a BP Dead Zone of no return.

The apocalyptic gusher of oily poison pouring into the waters that give us life can only be viewed---FELT---by each and every one of us as an on-going death by a thousand cuts with no end in sight.

Yet our government---allegedly the embodiment of our collective will to survive---has done NOTHING of significance to fight this mass murder. Not one meaningful thing.

As it did while New Orleans drowned downstream from a willfully neglected levee system, our most potentially effective counter-force dithers on the other side of the world, in the wrong Gulf.

We squander our treasure on the largest conglomeration of people and weapons the world has ever seen. It's bloated with hardware designed specifically to destroy and kill. Hundreds of thousands of Americans sit on our dime in more than a hundred countries, rotting in the outposts of a bygone empire.

Why aren't they in the Gulf of Mexico, fighting for our truest "national security"?

Listen Tonight! KBOO Special Report: The Insanity Of Our Oil Addiction - Connecting The Dots In The BP Oil Disaster - Tonight 6-7 PM Pacific Time


KBOO Special report: The insanity of our oil addiction - connecting the dots in the BP Oil Disaster

Air date: Wed, 05/12/2010 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm Pacific Time

Featuring radical Texas populist Jim Hightower, renowned author and activist Antonia Juhasz (‘The Tyranny of Oil’), discussing the real issues behind the BP oil spill currently gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer and public speaker who has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. Click here for his website.

Also on the show will be Antonia Juhasz, whose book ‘The Tyranny of Oil’ has been called the hardest-hitting exposé of the oil industry in decades, examining today's most pressing energy questions:

  • Why do oil and gasoline prices rise and fall so quickly?
  • How much oil is left?
  • How far will Big Oil go to get it?
  • And at what cost to the economy, environment, human rights, worker safety, public health, democracy, and America’s place in the world?

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