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Monday, June 7, 2010

Memo to Palin: Silence is golden


May 26th, 2010 | By Judy Swindler | Read more in: Progressive Living

Sarah Palin has become one of the few Republicans to break their odd silence regarding the massive oil spill now threatening the environmental and economic viability of much of the Gulf Coast by stating “I want our country to be able to trust the oil industry.”

Wouldn’t that be lovely Sarah, but how can we and why in the world should we trust the oil corporations?

Trust is not something given lightly or foolishly. The ability to trust depends on whether that faith is earned and depends on the track record of those expecting, demanding, asking for or simply wishing for that trust to be placed in another. If you can explain how the oil industry has provided us with a foundation solid enough to have earned consideration of our trust, maybe we can take your wants and wishes more seriously.

“Chevron, the second-largest American oil company, is preparing to acknowledge that it should have known kickbacks were being paid to Saddam Hussein on oil it bought from Iraq as part of a defunct United Nations program, according to investigators…The admission is part of a settlement being negotiated with United States prosecutors and includes fines totaling $25 million to $30 million, according to the investigators, who declined to be identified because the settlement was not yet public.” click here

“Three state legislators have already been convicted in Federal court for accepting bribes from VECO, and the FBI has video and audio evidence that reveal VECO executives shockingly handing out cash to those legislators in exchange for promises to roll back a tax on the oil industry. And more lawmakers – including Senator Stevens’ own son, former Alaska State Senate President Ben Stevens – are being eyed in the growing scandal.” http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/347/index.html

“Oil giant BP has been fined a total of $373m (182m) by the US Department of Justice for environmental crimes and committing fraud. The fines include $50m relating to a Texas refinery explosion in 2005 that killed 15 people and injured 170 more. That sum is the highest fine of its kind levied under the Clean Air Act. The largest fine – $303m – relates to a price manipulation scam between April 2003 and February 2004, over which four ex-BP workers have been indicted.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7062669.stm

“The Supreme Court has rejected Chevron’s appeal to decide whether the oil company can be held responsible in a $27 million law suit in Ecuador for environmental restoration.” http://aitc.org/node/148

Chevron then lobbied the Bush administration to remain uninvolved and to remove all special trade preferences for Ecuador if their government didn’t kill the case, yet you, Sarah, want us to “be able to trust’ them but can’t tell us how in the hell how we can or why we should even bother to.

BP, British Petroleum, the company responsible for the operation of the Louisiana oil rig that is in the process of turning the Gulf Coast into one huge, historic, horrific oil slick spent over ten years battling federal regulators and regulations regarding safety equipment necessary to prevent just such a scenario.http://tinyurl.com/2fb3dqq

It seems the only trust we can place in them is to trust they will put profit before people.

Why should we trust the oil corporations or their enablers? Trust them Sarah? How can we even trust your own judgment when you couldn’t even remember a case from your own state, Exxon v. Baker, when asked by Katie Couric about any Supreme Court decisions you disagreed with? Or did you disagree with it? How many oil spills not properly handled does it take for them to earn your mistrust?

How can we trust you or big oil when both of you apparently think it’s fine to allow oil storage tanks to continue to operate at the base of Mt. Redoubt, an active volcano in your own state? What happens to that trust when Chevron not only refuses to account to the public regarding the amount of oil stored there, but hides the fact there remains over six million gallons, half the size of the Exxon Valdez spill, still in storage at this tank farm. We are now to trust them when they assured the public the tanks were empty? How can we trust you or the oil corporations when the Coast Guard, the State of Alaska and even Chevron has admitted there is not enough equipment at the site to respond to tank ruptures and/or collapse? click here

You say to us “I repeat the slogan “drill here, drill now” not out of naivete or disregard for the tragic consequences of oil spills – my family and my state and I know firsthand those consequences.” But do you really understand the consequences? I think not, as that would explain why you, as governor in 2007, ok’d the waiver to the Clean Air Act requested by Chevron and other oil corporations which allowed them to increase three fold the dumping of what was already millions of gallons of toxic contaminants involving hydrocarbons, metals and other pollutants harmful not only to the Cook Inlet wildlife, the people of Alaska, the fishing industry in Alaska, but the people of the lower 48 as well. http://www.inletkeeper.org.

Could it be you simply missed the numerous articles regarding the incredible damage big oil has done to your state and elsewhere in that big stack of newspapers you read daily? Have you kept up with “lamestream” news coverage of the current oil disaster reaching epic proportions even at this early stage of the game or read about the likelihood of failure to cap the tens of millions of barrels beneath this one rig? click here

Perhaps we should trust that your family, the residents of Alaska, the rest of America and the rest of the world simply don’t need to eat fish? click here

Perhaps, Sarah, you don’t understand, as do most more politically astute Republicans with regard to this matter, and as Governor Rick Perry discovered, that sometimes silence is golden. click here

Mark Twain would enjoy your sudden urge to speak: “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

So, tell us, Sarah, how is that trust thingy working out for you?
Judy Swindler
Judy's OpEd News page
Armybrat, former Republican, now Democrat, but still old school conservative.

1 comment:

Ashlea said...

I've been blogging about Chevron for a while now. See what oil companies are capable of: http://livesforoil.blogspot.com/