Surrealpolitic for surreal times.: Thank God B.P. is Looking Out For Us!

8.08.2006

Thank God B.P. is Looking Out For Us!

British Petroleum has just announced it will be shutting down one of its pipelines sending oil prices up an estimated $2/barrel.

For the first time in memory - maybe history - an oil company has shut itself down for maintenance crippling its own output and, consequentially, its revenues. This decision will have a ripple effect for months including the government's possible decision to open oil reserves in an attempt to manipulate prices.

Yes, high gasoline prices are a terrible inconvenience and probably other companies will join in the latest price gouging, but that's not what I find worrisome. What's scary to me is that we are now depending upon companies to self-regulate. Where was the E.P.A.? Where were the agencies that are supposed to uncover these potential disasters? Why are we depending on BP to shut itself down? Oh, that's because we decided to place in the Environmental Protection Agency those who are beholden to petroleum interests, coal interests and automobile corporations. It all comes back to surrealpolitics.

Since 2000, George W. Bush, Republicans and a handful or Democrats have nearly dismantled all the protections that provide clean water and air and furnished a safe haven for polluters. What amazes me is that no other legislation has a more direct impact on its constituents health and well being and yet if you were to ask who the E.P.A. Administrator is, maybe one in a million could answer correctly (as of now, Steve Johnson). So is it any surprise that the parts of mercury and dioxins in our water and air have skyrocketed to poisonous levels? This isn't about hugging trees or saving owls, this is about corporations recieving huge tax breaks, poisoning you, and having absolutely no care in the world.

I suppose we're lucky B.P. caught the potential disaster and is now correcting the problem. If someone from the E.P.A. were to stumble upon this, I have a hard time believing this administration would enforce any action. Then instead of just a $2/barrel raise, we'd also be looking at untold damage to the Alaskan wilderness.

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