Bad Deeds for 4/30/2010

 

Rush Limbaugh Lies About Big Branch Mine – Rush Limbaugh lambasted the Mine Workers (UMWA) for not protecting their members who, he claimed worked at the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County, W.Va., where 29 coal miners were killed when the Massey Energy Co. mine exploded.

Of course, as has been widely reported, Upper Big Branch was a non-union coal mine.

 

Rush Limbaugh Blames Environmentalists for Massive Oil Spill – While there’s not yet any indication as to what caused the disastrous explosion that sunk a British Petroleum drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, right-wing radio personality Rush Limbaugh says that since the explosion happened on Earth Day, what better way for environmentalists to head off more oil drilling than for them to blow up an oil rig.

 

Seven Dirty Facts About Offshore Drilling – The Risk to Human Life – Offshore drilling is inherently a risky procedure—attempting to withdraw unstable substances from the planet remains a perilous task, no matter how advanced the technology currently is. Unfortunately, countless lives have been lost from malfunctioning equipment or user error. The recent offshore disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving 11 missing and presumed dead, is but one of many tragic examples. The Piper Alpha Platform exploded in 1988 killing 167, the Enchova Central Platform claimed 42 lives after its 1984 blowout, and the C.P. Baker Barge resulted in 22 fatalities after its 1964 blowout. Many offshore rigs have been inadequately prepared for the harsh environment they are put in. Dangerous weather has caused more deaths than faulty machinery, as many facilities have capsized in storms, taking the crew with them. The Alexander L. Kielland claimed 123 lives in 1980, 91 lives were lost in 1989 aboard the Seacrest Drillship, 84 lives in 1982 on the Ocean Ranger, and the list goes on.

Oil Spills – With current offshore drilling methods and transportation, oil spills are not only a dismal possibility but a sad inevitability. In 1969, the blowout on an offshore oil platform off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA led to around 4 million gallons of oil devastating over 40 miles of California coastline. This disaster led to offshore drilling being banned in many areas around the country. Since the passage of the 1990 Oil Pollution Act, the U.S. Coast Guard says we have reduced the amount of oil spilled into American oceans each year from the horrendous 11.8 million gallons it was prior to 1990, but unfortunately we are still releasing 1.5 million gallons of the destructive pollutant into our waters each year. Obviously, the effects of these spills on marine life and their delicate ecosystems is detrimental. The recent offshore disaster near Louisiana, currently leaking 200,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf Of Mexico, is a reminder that drilling remains perilous.

Other Environmental Hazards – Offshore drilling isn’t just hazardous to the environment simply because of the potential threat of oil spills. Offshore drilling actions destroy kelp beds, coral reefs, and coastal wetlands. The lifetime of a single oil rig can dump almost 200 million pounds of drilling fluid and metal cuttings into the ocean, releasing millions of pounds of toxic metals and carcinogens, and polluting the air as much as 7,000 cars driving 50 miles a day would.

Minimal Effect on Gas Prices – US Department Of Energy’s Energy Information Administration assessed that opening up new areas of the oceans to drilling would not have any significant impact on crude oil production or prices before 2030, as it would only increase domestic production by 1.6%, and in 2030 gas prices would only drop 3 cents per gallon as a result.

Less Jobs Than Green Energy Would Provide – Proponents of increased offshore drilling like to cite the many new jobs it would create, but a University of Massachusetts study reveals that investing the same amount of money in renewable energy projects would create triple the amount of jobs with wages of $16 an hour.

It’s a Distraction From Real Solutions – New offshore drilling takes the focus off of renewable energy projects and moving toward a clean energy America. It gives people a false sense of hope that the insignificant amount of oil we may acquire will lead to cheaper gas prices or energy independence for the US. If the entire nation switched to hybrid electric vehicles it would save twice the amount of oil a day that new offshore drilling would create. Offshore drilling will only contribute to environmental degradation, from extraction to refining and then the transportation and ultimate use of it. 1000 pounds of CO2 are associated with every single barrel of oil, and oil accounted for 47% of American fossil fuel-based energy consumption in 2006.

 

(courtesy of Americans Opposed to Racial Profiling on Facebook)

Regards,

Jim

 

 

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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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