Sunday, June 6, 2010

Same Shit/Different Day

The Brown Pelican, Louisiana's State Bird

I was looking for something in my office the other day. For someone who likes to think of themselves as neat and orderly I am an indiscriminate slob and collector of random bits of paper and minutiae that could be almost anywhere... except where I think I "filed" them. I'm not now sure if I found what I was looking for, but I did come across a page from The Oregonian, from June 29, 2008. The paper had printed a letter I wrote them in response to an editorial by gone but not forgiven right wingnut, David Reinhard. I searched the paper's website and Google, looking for the original editorial, but couldn't find it. I imagine The Oregonian has a filing system similar to mine. You can probably figure out,from my response, the gist of Reinhard's editorial...

Regarding David Reinhard’s column, “Look who can’t drill off some of our shores (June 26), offshore drilling is a bad idea, plain and simple. It’s no the solution to our short-term high prices, most of which can be traced to OPEC price regulation and American corporate greed.

Conservative estimates indicated that it will take no less than 10 years to get any oil out of any new offshore drilling sites, and what is there is not enough to solve our long-term needs.

Reinhard writes that a lot has changes, including environmental protection. In the very same issue of The Oregonian, the front page featured a story of the reduced penalty to Exxon Mobil — from $5 billion to $500 million — for spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil in Alaska in 1989. In essence, the Supreme Court has sanctioned the reduced responsibility for Big Oil.

President Bush is now urging offshore drilling as the answer. The Republican nominee for president, John McCain, is an active supporter.

But, except for those like Reinhard who have chosen to make it such, this is not a partisan, political issue. This is about clinging to the past, stuffing billions into the pockets of big business and killing the planet in the process. Or, we can approach the future as a challenge for our scientists, engineers and visionaries to create a cleaner, safer, more conscious world.

Separated at Birth

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