One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? Federal Government Allows Big Oil to Poison the Gulf Coast ~ Next Stop: Alaska?

by Green Jobs Ready on July 12, 2010

Over the weekend, I attempted to partition my computer’s hard drive and install a windows operating system, did it wrong, and ended up confusing my computer to the extent that it basically threw up its hands and ran away, leaving a blank os behind. Thank goodness I had a very stubborn mac “doctor” in the house.

Well, after doing research for this post, I know just how my poor little macbook felt. My brain is no doubt making the same kinds of connections in its casing, but has been kept from abdicating in the same way by a sheer act of will. I’ll tell you why.

Today, President Obama issued a new, more comprehensive, moratorium against Offshore drilling for oil. Good. It’s about time. Let’s hope it sticks, at least through the November 30th end date. And let’s hope, at that time, that the issue is revisited in a more environmentally friendly and morally responsible way, rather than “okay, that’s over. Now, let’s get back to business as usual.”

My hopes for that aren’t exactly high, though. Just last Friday, an article on huffingtonpost.com revealed that the President, through the Department of the Interior, will be offering to lease as much as 1.8 million acres of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve for the express purpose of drilling for gas and oil. The Bureau of Land Management in Anchorage will be accepting bids on 190 tracts of land that make up that 1.8 million acres, beginning August 11th.

1.8 million acres.  A small portion of the entire reserve, yes ~ less than 10% ~ but still. The “dead zone” created by the ongoing Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill that resulted from the April 20th explosion of the BP oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon is “only” estimated to be the size of New Jersey, and look at what far reaching effects that is having and will continue to have.

Just consider how much green energy technology could be purchased and used with even a fraction of the money these leases will cost. And at what cost savings to the Alaskan environment and its wildlife.

The government has promised to protect critical migratory bird and caribou habitats. Okay. But I have to say, in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster ~ a oil drilling operation the government was assured was “safe” and fully equipped with fail-safes and emergency equipment and procedures and back-up systems for its back-up systems ~ which continues to spew thousands upon thousands of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf waters every day . . . well, let’s just say: such promises to protect the land and the life that depends upon it ring exceedingly hollow.

Not that I’m equating the government’s honesty and integrity with that of BP, a company that has historically hidden its many forays into the legal and ethical (one wouldn’t want to say criminal) shadowlands of business practices. Surely, the U. S. federal government is above such self-serving, profiteering-at-the-public’s-expense activities.

Yet, speculations that all the hubbub of recovery and restoration activities in the Gulf of Mexico, all the response behavior exhibited by the present administration, is a smoke screen to mollify the masses on the one hand, while continuing to condone the same unsafe and irresponsible behavior of businesses in the fossil fuels industry on the other, seems more and more believable when such decisions as this one to allow drilling in Alaska come to light.

Maybe it’s just the residual confusion of my technical meltdown (and subsequent, albeit temporary, electronic-access withdrawal) that’s making me suspicious. Or maybe it’s not.

See you on the green ~

Rebecca

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