Puget Sound Under Assault – Again!
Last month Congress defeated (barely) an attempt to allow larger supertankers in Puget Sound. But like a cat that keeps jumping up on the table no matter how many times you push him off, our Oligarchs are again trying to jeopardize Puget Sound with larger supertankers and more risk of an oil spill.
BP America is using the threat of a 10% output reduction, and the ensuing job losses, to push for their goal of allowing more and larger tankers to use their refinery in Bellingham, WA. As far as job losses go, my guess is either A) it’s a scare tactic, or B) they’re going to eliminate those jobs anyway, after they’ve gotten their way.
In addition to a federal law that’s been in place for 28 years, BP America has been in an ongoing court battle over their refinery with Ocean Advocates, an environmental group. But it’s so much easier to just make an end run around the courts and a 28-year-old law.
BP America has instructed its favorite call girl, Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), to introduce legislation allowing more and larger tankers in Puget Sound. Residents of Washington have something in common with Californians: regardless of their political views, they’re as fiercely protective of Washington’s waterways as Californians are of their coastline.
Puget Sound is Washington’s lifeblood. A major oil spill would devastate the fishing and tourism industries (not to mention the wildlife). There aren’t any multi-billion dollar lobbying groups for the fishing industry, but that doesn’t make them any less important than the oil cartel.
When the oil industry was deciding on which member of their harem to use, they chose the aging, skanky, overly used and highly experienced Ted Stevens. He’s spent decades gyrating and bumping and grinding for the oilmen. He loves his work and he’s good at what he does. When the oil industry says “Spread ‘em!” Ted Stevens says “how wide, Sir?”
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) promised to filibuster this legislation.
Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) said “BP mishandled this. They should have been more open. Instead, they tried to sneak it through. I would hope that Sen. Stevens doesn't try to attach this to some other piece of legislation. There need to be hearings on this. There really isn't a rush. ... It would have been better for BP people to come in and sit down with the Washington delegation and say, ‘We have a problem.’ ”