Kodiak Daily Mirror - Protecting environment not a concern of oil industry
Protecting environment not a concern of oil industry
by Frank Barton
Sep 11, 2012 | 69 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To the Editor:

I was listening to the news on KMXT Monday morning and heard that Shell Oil had begun drilling in the Chukchi Sea without a spill response barge in place to safeguard against environmental disaster.

How can this be allowed to happen? 

Well, our global community has not learned from the Exxon Valdez disaster, the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the countless other oil spills.

I am becoming truly hopeless regarding the future of the Arctic.

The tribes that live in this part of Alaska brought lawsuits seeking protection of their subsistance activities and traditional lifestyle. Environmental groups spoke out against drilling there, petitions were signed, celebrities spoke out, and the risks of drilling in the Arctic have been widely reported. Why does it continue then?

It’s apparent that the oil industry is able to spend billions to get what it wants and this latest move has occurred under President Obama, who continues to run on the promise that he will protect the environment. The “drill baby, drill” crowd is getting what they want and I fear ecological disasters may be the only thing to sway certain peoples’ opinions, but by then it will be too late.

The oil industry WANTS to pollute the Arctic because then Native Alaskans will leave the area and then they can drill at will. If they pollute an area, no one can fish there and they will leave. This is an old strategy at a time when Alaskans old enough to remember the oil spill in 1989 are either in denial about the consequences on the coastline and the ocean or simply have forgotten their history and do not pass on the lessons learned to this next generation of voters.

There seems to be no real choice between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to protecting the environment, especially in Alaska. The oil industry has successfully bought the support of our government, scared people into thinking they cannot survive without oil, created a sense of entitlement in Alaskan workers and started its campaign to starve Alaskan Natives from the land.

Karma will come down in the ecological disasters that will result. As Bob Dylan wrote, “it’s all over now, baby blue.”

Frank Barton

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