As the Gulf Coast disaster goes beyond its second month and has spewed an estimated 80million up to 256million gallons of crude every day. And its expected to keep gushing until some time in August when a relief well can be drilled. And to top off the growing frustration most Americans are feeling right now, we had one Republican Senator actually apologize to BP for what he amounted to was a $20billion dollar government shakedown. Then we have a Federal Judge over turn the Obama administration’s 6 month ban on deep water drilling. It was disclosed at the time that Barton, the ranking republican on the energy committee had received 1.4 million dollars in campaign donations Oil industry lobbyists since 1999. Judge Martin Feldman also owned stock in 8 different oil companies including Transocean. The ruling is seen by many as a conflict of interest and the judge should not have been allowed to rule in the first place. And the anger and frustration we as Americans feel is justified. But some of that anger and frustration is part being trapped and part feeling guilty. We are trapped no question about it. We are trapped and conditioned to think we can not function without oil. We feel guilty because we all know what we are doing to ourselves and our planet. We feel guilty because we know the oil we use was bought and paid for with blood, and a lot of that blood was American Kids fresh out of high school with a whole life to live. And if we really knew what our consumption costs to the people of Niger we would be feeling guilt over that as well. Currently 40% of all the crude coming into the US comes from the Niger Delta. The human cost of that oil is unconscionable. Most of the oil pipeline through out Nigeria are over 40 years old and almost as much crude into the environment as it sends to the storage tanks. The Niger delta Pipeline spews more oil each year than the Oil spewing into the Gulf. And Niger has been dealing with these catastrophes for a decade. One line maintained by Shell started spewing a few years ago near the tribal village of the Otuegwe. Shell responded to the rupture 6 months later, and that was only when the line was losing more oil than it was delivering. That was two years ago and most of the Otuegwe’s land is an oily swamp. And when the affected peoples of these disasters are turned away and ignored they become frustrated, here we protest. there they protest. The difference there is the Oil companies security teams will beat you down in the streets. The simple matter is BP only agreed to the $20billion dollar fund because our government was strong enough to exact payment. If our government had nothing to threaten them with, they wouldn’t have responded at all. They would have cut their loses and left it all for the locals to fix and clean up. Just as they do in Nigeria. And I wonder with this would have anything to do with the average life expectancy in Niger dropping to just over 40 within two generations? So for those of you who believe that the oil companies are capable of policing themselves you are sadly mistaken, They have never done the right thing by anyone, unless it was profitable or forced upon them to do so. Those governments that aren’t strong enough to force them get nothing. Because they simply don’t have to.
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