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Blog of Mass Destruction

At What Cost?

By The Reverend Published: May 3, 2010

Predictions now coming forth suggest that the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could become the worst environmental tragedy....ever.

Some are predicting that the, now, 30 mile wide oil slick will enter the Gulf Stream waters, go around the tip of Florida, and move up the eastern seaboard. I can't even imagine the damage.

My hopes are that the oil slick can, somehow, be contained and that BP can successfully "crown" the well head with huge funnel like devices now being constructed. The goal of this "crowning" is to channel the 5000 barrels of oil a day into tankers...thus, minimizing, or stopping, any further spillage.

Let's all hope that it works.

Setting the galactically moronic "SWAT team conspiracy" espoused by Rush Limbaugh....aside for a moment....

I believe that with the recent coal mine disasters now followed by the BP oil rig blowup......a larger-picture question should be examined. What price are Americans willing to pay for carbon-based energy? Not what price are we willing to pay with our dollars and cents.....but at what price to our nation?

If coal mine inspections, notices of violations, and appeals of violations are simply the cost of doing business for the 5% of coal mining operations who game the system......a gaming that results in the deaths of mine workers...If oil companies can simply wiggle out of costly redundant shut-off valves by helping to write the federal regulations for 'we the people'.....a wiggling-out-of that destroys the Gulf Coast or even more....then please tell me.....what aren't we willing to sacrifice for our unquenchable addiction to carbon-based energy?

Is there anything we won't sacrifice?

We're obviously willing to accept the deaths of 30, or so, mine workers. No charges filed. Move along, nothing to see here. Just hundreds of grieving family one cares about them. We need larger dividend checks, larger corporate profits. What dare stand in the way of more corporate profits? Ask the Banksters.....they know that the answer is...'nothing.'

The deaths of those coal miners in West Virginia was a case of negligent homicide. Does anyone believe for a second that anyone will be charged with negligent homicide?

In the case of the BP oil rig.....the yet-to-be-stopped oil spillage could have been prevented. Probably the initial explosion as well. Both Norway and Brazil require a secondary automatic shut-of valve for just the kind of situation BP found itself in last week down in the Gulf. The secondary automatic shutoff valve costs $500,000.

Nevertheless, regulators in two major oil-producing countries, Norway and Brazil, in effect require them. Norway has had acoustic triggers on almost every offshore rig since 1993.

The U.S. considered requiring a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism several years ago, but drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness, according to the agency overseeing offshore drilling. The agency, the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service, says it decided the remote device wasn’t needed because rigs had other back-up plans to cut off a well.

Before the oil rig blowup, BP had stated that an accident leading to a giant spill at their Gulf rigs was a "virtual impossibility."

Coal mine explosions resulting in the deaths of dozens of miners, offshore oil rig explosions with possible historic damage to the environment...... what cost won't we accept while continuing our addiction to carbon-based fuels?

At what cost?

Our yearly national defense budget is over $1 trillion. Some have calculated that we spend 53 cents of every tax dollar on national defense. Much of our military might is positioned to secure the flow of raw materials and goods. The costly military occupations in two middle eastern nations, Iraq and Afghanistan, cannot be separated from our national addiction to oil. We've sacrificed the lives of over 4000 U.S soldiers, so far, and tens of thousands more wounded, in oil rich Iraq.

It seems clear that America will sacrifice anything and, possibly, everything, to feed the carbon based fuel monkey on our national backs.

Can the madness be stopped? Can the U.S. make a course correction? Is it we have the address our addiction? This problem has been a ticking time bomb for over 30 years. We've been playing a very dangerous game of Russian procrastination, if you will.

Is it even possible anymore for the U.S. to recover from our addiction to carbon-based fuels?

And if the answer is no....won't we finally sacrifice everything to fill our carbon-based fuel crack pipes? Sure looks that way to me.



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