Boy, you've really gotta hand it to the oil & gas industry folks. I mean, after all, we're just shy of 40 days since the start of BP's crude ooze in the Gulf, and already a consortium of energy elites has launched a propaganda blitz via America's WETLAND Foundation.
And who do they blame for this latest "industrial accident," as BP propagandists are attempting to rebrand it? Was it was those crazy Minerals Management Service kids who spent more time surfing porn and tweaking all over Lake Charles than paying attention to industry officials filling in their own inspection reports in pencil?
Nah, according to a few America's WETLAND Foundation delegates at its forum this week in Galveston, this BP "mess" stems from the "politics," "theatrics" and "gotcha sound bites" propagated by the Obama administration. Never mind the culpability of corporations like BP in the business of creating huge ecological risks that can devastate life for millions of Americans along the Gulf Coast.
So what in the hell is America's WETLAND Foundation? I mean, it looks grassroots. It sounds grassroots. But read its list of sponsors, and you'll find the golden boys club dominated by representatives from oil industry companies.
Perhaps the saving grace came when Susan Kaderka, regional director of the National Wildlife Federation, clashed with Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who complained about the media using "spewing" to describe the oil from the blowout, favoring the word "discharge" be used.
Patterson went on to say that Spanish explorers discovered oil that had seeped to the surface in the 1500s, and this was a natural occurrence.
"It's not to say what's happening in the Deepwater Horizon spill is not catastrophic," he said. "It's just to say we need to put it in perspective."
Kaderka fired back, "It troubles me to hear this compared in any way to natural seeps. This is a major pollution event. What is the acceptable cost of doing business?" she asked. "What are we expected to endure?"
Toward the end of the morning session, one energy representative said, "The media is presenting a distorted view of the reality. I mean look at what happened with the Exxon Valdez. People up there in Alaska quit their jobs to join the clean up. And Exxon Valdez didn't bankrupt the state of Alaska. That issue has been resolved for years, and the environment up there is fine. After all, Sarah Palin is always sayin' 'drill baby drill.'"
"This business of congressional hearings with all the energy
executives amounts to nothing more than politics. They want to find a
villain. I mean, it's a 'gotcha' hearing to shine a light on our
industry. But we are the goose that lays the golden eggs for these
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