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An Even Bigger Spill Looming?
by Asher Miller
Should we be #%#%# mad at BP for the Gulf Oil spill? Should we hold them and/or Halliburton and/or Transocean accountable for the lives lost, and the environmental and economic damage they caused? Should we be angered by BP's delay tactics in sharing video footage of the oil leak or by their attempts to pay off people in order to avoid later lawsuits? Absolutely. And should we disgusted by PG&E's power grab or the fact that out-of-state oil interests are trying to block California from enacting legislation it passed three years ago? Damn straight!
But why are we wasting a second of our time or energy expecting anything different? The sooner we understand that debating the fossil fuel industry or buying their false, half-measure solutions like "clean coal" is a waste of time, the sooner we can turn our attention to the real work at hand—getting ourselves off fossil fuels. These are the world's largest, wealthiest corporations. Their mandate is to get the maximum return on shareholder investment. Period. I know what you're thinking... corporate executives and their shareholders depend on this climate and our oceans just as much as the rest of us. True. But how often do you see a drug dealer stop selling to an addict because he knows the drugs are going to kill him?
Does this mean we shouldn't hold BP's feet to the fire or fight insidious efforts like Prop 16 and the California Jobs Initiative? Of course not. But we simply don't have the time or resources to engage in a protracted legislative and litigious war with vested interests who not only have far more money and access than we do, but whose very intent is to delay and deny for as long as possible. The only way we can win this battle is by taking away the true source of their power. Our addiction.
This article, reprinted by permission, is part of a longer California-oriented article that may be found here.
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