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Well, it seems our commander in chief is going back on his word regarding offshore drilling. He had promised to have all requests scrutinized with a fine tooth comb after the Deepwater Horizon nightmare. Such is not the case evidently. From Alternet:
The companies get to skirt the full environmental review Obama promised offshore drilling projects would have to face, and mostly due to political reasons.
If there was anything that Obama impressed upon the American public in the wake of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, it was that if offshore drilling was to continue, it must be safer and better scrutinized. A few months ago, the administration said that it would require every oil company seeking to drill to pass a strict environmental review before getting the go-ahead from the feds.
But it appears that this isn’t quite the case for every drilling project — news just broke that 13 companies will be allowed to drill under the same environmental review standards that stood before the BP Gulf spill.
These 13 companies, which include the likes of Chevron and Shell, were already drilling their wells without detailed environmental impact studies before the Deepwater blew, and are therefore exempt from the new environmental review standards, the administration says. The AP reports that 10 of those 13 are drilling exploratory wells; the same kind that BP was drilling when disaster struck.
I lived in Santa Barbara county when the country’s first major oilspill occurred in 1969. That disaster is credited with starting the environmental movement. To say I feel screwed over by Obama on this issue is an understatement. To paraphrase from an old piece I wrote about that disaster:
You haven’t lived until you have walked on a beach that has oil ten inches thick all over it. You haven’t seen nothing until you see birds that are covered in the sh*t and dying a slow painful death. You haven’t experienced squat until you see hundreds of dead fish, seals and dolphins covering the beach.
Wait..I ain’t done yet…
I still weep when I see, in my minds eye, all those animals covered in friggin goo. The bird eyes pleading for help..and for what did we sacrifice them?
GREED..and self absorbed bs, ego-tripping on our big cars and trucks that are usually carrying one or at the most two people. I will never get over what I witnessed..never. And those f’n Oil company execs should of been made to clean up their horrific mess and made to help save the lives of those hundreds, nee thousands of birds that died.
So, you can imagine my horror at reading that Obama is once again capitulating to the Corporatocracy and their buddies in the GOP. Once a pristine environment is deluged with oil it takes decades to fully come back. Anyone that tells you different is lying. The waves, on Santa Barbara’s coast after that spill, made no noise when they hit the shore….they were that loaded with oil.
If we do not remember, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes. When do we say enough? When do we put the environment and it’s natural inhabitants before our own self-serving needs? Oil companies rake in billions in profits every year, so what is the harm in making them accountable to environmental review?
Evidently not on Obama’s watch.