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America over a barrel: Operation Henhouse

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
April 16, 2003

 

"If America remains addicted to oil, Saddam Hussein will not be the last oil dictator, and this will not be the last oil war." — Mike Clark 1991

With nothing to do but read and watch, the only shade of green I'm seeing these days is the dark jade filtering a perspective no longer familiar with hope. Having sold my televisions two weeks ago, I now feed my knowledge Jones with enough reading material to compensate for 35 years of televised propaganda. With television out of the picture, I am now free to cast a wider net for reference material and alternative publications.

And yes, the withdrawal process has been challenging.

Without out a television my stress level has been greatly reduced, and my critical thinking skills have considerable more time to develop. Unfortunately I have not been able to escape the marketing of mayhem, and the bushwhacking of environmental policy in the name of corporate security. No longer assaulted by the ignorance of media mercenaries such as Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage, I now have time for works of nonfiction that allow for in-depth consideration.

One thing I have noticed is that while spin doctors of imperialism are busy waving flags and cheering the growing police state, the Bush Dynasty and their yes men in congress are quietly working to undermine the very foundation of ecological balance, not to mention the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Having lost the war on drugs and the war on terrorism, the Bush Administration will do anything to make sure they don't loose the war against the environment.

And the future will suffer for it.

This year, Earth Day preparations have taken on a surreal quality. Unable to manage anything other than a hollow sense of futility, I find myself deeply resentful of the corporate thugs seeking a free hand to pillage the world's natural resources. Hiding behind the rule of law while dismantling 33 years of environmental policy, George and company have petroleum on the brain and the rest of the world will bear the brunt of this addiction.

As Bombs were falling on Baghdad the U.S. House of Representatives passed a comprehensive energy bill blatantly providing broad financial incentives for oil and gas development and tax breaks for the nuclear industry. The bill's supporters say it will jumpstart energy production and help revive the nation's economy, but opponents see it as continued subsidies to the nation's traditional energy industries. Personally I see it as further proof of the corporate jihad hell-bent on environmental plunder.

Completely ignoring conservation efforts and sustainable technologies, the Republican controlled Congress is indistinguishable from the Bush cabinet, this is hardly an accident, so it is only fitting this latest battle in the war on the environment be dubbed "Operation Henhouse." And as the appointed oligarchy goes about convincing Americans a dying planet is in the best interest of U.S. citizens, common sense will be seen as treason and voices calling for ecological restraint willed be denounced as terrorist sympathizers.

Approved by a vote of 247 to 175, the Bush administration and House Republicans praised the bill, which provides $19 million, over 10 years in tax breaks and incentives. More than two thirds of these tax related subsidies have been set aside for the development of oil, gas, coal and nuclear power and the multinational corporations involved in global extraction markets.

As most of us know, Dick Cheney's energy commission was comprised entirely of corporate energy representatives, so few should be surprised by an energy bill calling for a doubling of the use of corn-based ethanol as a fuel additive, hydrogen fuel development, and the expansion the authority of federal energy regulators to construct power lines and streamline the licensing process for hydroelectric dams. An amendment to grant tax credits for hybrid electric vehicles was rejected, as was a move to raise fuel economy standards.

And as expected, the House of Representatives also voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's to oil drilling. Most environmentalists and wildlife biologists believe that such a policy would forever destroy the fragile ecosystem that supports the rich biodiversity of Alaska's North shore.

Proving that nothing is safe from the armies of extraction, House Speaker Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican, and former exterminator employed his usual brand of faulty reasoning claiming "This legislation will help free our nation from its dependence on foreign sources of energy, a step which will improve national security," and "The more energy we produce within our borders, the more we know we can rely on, no matter what international circumstances arise." Mr. DeLay also said the provision to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling is "environmentally friendly."

Let me remind you this is a man who made his fortune poisoning Texas.

 
 
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