Thursday, April 17, 2014

Genuflecting to Big Oil

To greed, all of nature is insufficient  ---  Seneca

By Robert Kennedy Jr
Waterkeeper Alliance

Genuflecting to Big Oil's pressure, the industry's chief indentured servant, Governor Bobby Jindal, is leading an attempt to kill the suit by orchestrating the replacement of several members of the levee authority. Jindal's caper violates state laws that guarantee that body's political independence. Urged on by the Governor, crooked Legislators are currently advancing bills to undermine the levee board and retroactively kill the lawsuit. Louisiana is a classic corporate kleptocracy. There is no sunshine in Baton Rouge ; Like so many cockroaches Big Oil's state house sock puppets are working their mischief in the darkness with no accountability or public participation.
A Louisiana elected official once said "the flag of Texaco flies over the Louisiana State Capitol." Right now that flag is flapping in the face of every citizen. Tax-hating governor Jindall now wants to spend tens of millions of dollars of tax payer money to plug oil canals which companies are required by law to plug themselves. That money pales beside to the $50 billion cost of the state's Master Plan to protect the coast. Jindal's funding proposal caper will protect his oil industry patrons and stick the public with the bill: taxpayers will cover the costs of damage caused by oil companies.
A recent poll by the nonprofit, Restore Louisiana Now, found that 90 percent of state residents believe the oil and gas industry should pay it's fair share, and 75 percent believe the governor has no business shielding the oil and gas industry from the costs of its misbehavior.
As Seneca observed "To greed, all of nature is insufficient".
The above photo of Chalmette, LA's Val Reiss park in District C is the area inundated with one million gallons of crude oil when a storage tank ruptured in the aftermath of the floods from the failure of the Federal Levee system in 2005. 
We've come a long way thanks to the residents and to their civic association Rediscover District C; yet the same facility is still allowed to discharge oily waste water into our canals, which drain into the Central Wetlands shown in the photo.  About two weeks ago, a heavy rain event, not uncommon in our region, resulted in the treatment ponds being let open for over 30 hours of discharge into our canals!

And continued rain water runoff issue into another neighborhood canal.


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