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Big Oil

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The Three Biggest Myths the Bush Administration Wants You to Believe About Offshore Drilling

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed "not a drop of oil was spilled during Katrina or Rita." This myth has been told again and again by the likes ofGov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, Mike Huckabee, George Will, and Bill O'Reilly.There were, in fact, major onshore and offshore spills due to the hurricanes. According to the official Minerals Management Service report, the hurricanes caused 124 offshore spills for a total of 743,700 gallons, six spilling 42,000 gallons or more.

The largest of these spills dropped 152,250 gallons, well over the 100,000 gallon threshhold considered a "major spill." In addition, the hurricanes caused disastrous spills onshore throughout southeast Louisiana and the rest of the Gulf Coast as tanks, pipelines, refineries and other industrial facilities were destroyed, for a total of 595 different oil spills.

The nine million gallons reported spilled were comparable with the Exxon Valdez's 10.8 million gallons, but unlike the Exxon Valdez, they were distributed throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and other Gulf Coast states, many in residential areas.

FUNDING THE DENIAL INDUSTRY

A leaked industry memo dating back to 1998 also reveals that ExxonMobil has been involved in a coordinated effort to confuse the public around global warming science; just like the tobacco industry did around smoking. To this day, ExxonMobil is the only oil giant known to be directly funneling millions of dollars to groups that deny the science on global warming. Read More.

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If We Drill in the U.S., We Don't Get the Oil

One thing has been driving me crazy about this drilling debate -- everyone seems to assume that if we drill for oil in the US, that we will get the oil. And hence, we won't be dependent on foreign oil anymore. But we won't get anything, Exxon-Mobil will.

The oil that comes from that drilling will not be United States property (Republicans aren't suggesting we nationalize the oil companies, are they?). It will be the property of whichever oil company got the rights to that contract. They can then sell it to whoever they like -- and they will. They will sell it on the world market, so the Chinese will have just as much access to the oil that comes out of the coast of Florida as we will.

The Democrats have done a decent job of beating back the argument that this will effect prices in the short run, or even in the long run. But no one has addressed the point above. The Republicans make it seem like we won't be dependent on foreign oil -- and that prices will go down in the US -- if we have our own oil. But it won't be ours. And it will be sold on the world market, so its effect on global oil prices will be even smaller.

When we ask the question of whether there should be drilling off the coast of Florida or in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, we should ask the question this way -- would you be comfortable with the Chinese or the Germans or Russians or the Saudis drilling on American land? Because for all intents and purposes, they will be.

Large multi-national firms like Exxon-Mobil are not US property. They sell to the world and their allegiance is to corporate profits. So, when they drill, they drill for the whole world, not just us. Some might find that heart-warming, but it certainly has nothing to do with the US having more oil or lower prices.

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Chevron Lobbies White House to stop $12 Billion lawsuit

part one of 2

(audio is somewhat off)

LAuGAzK_K0I


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Let me take just a second to review the top 10 reasons offshore drilling is such a dumb idea:

10. Offshore oil drilling won't impact gas prices today, and it won't have a significant impact on gas prices in the future.

9. This is nothing more than a money grab by the oil companies - who are already making record-breaking profits.

8. We burn 25% of the world's oil here in the U.S., but we have only 3% of the world's oil reserves. So even if all offshore oil magically came to market today, the vast majority of our oil would continue to be imported, and we wouldn't see price relief at the pump.

7. The current moratorium was put in place decades ago to protect us from the danger of oil spills along our coastlines and beaches.

6. Burning fossil fuels like oil causes global warming, which causes stronger hurricanes, which will threaten the very offshore drilling rigs being proposed, which will contribute to even more global warming.

5. To avoid the worst impacts of global warming, we need to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy within the next 10 years. The billions of dollars that would be spent on offshore oil drilling just postpones the inevitable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

4. Oil exploration requires massive seismic testing - which threatens whales and dolphins.

3. Oil prices are set on the global oil market, so American oil is no cheaper than Saudi oil. We won't get a discount for oil drilled in the U.S.

2. We can't solve the world's energy problems with the same drilling that created them.

1. Renewable energy is available now, so it's time to walk away from fossil fuels and toward a clean energy future.

Take Action >> make sure Congress hears from YOU about offshore oil drilling.

http://members.greenpeace.org/action/start/206/

Let's face it, there's really no good reason to drill offshore. More drilling is good for Big Oil, not for you and your family. We can't drill our way out of this mess - oil drilling is already at an all-time high and prices are still skyrocketing.

As a matter of fact, even if we could tap into all of the energy stored in the Earth's reserves - coal, oil, and natural gas - it would equal the energy in just 20 days of sunshine. Tell Congress to look on the bright side to solve our energy crisis. It's time to invest in renewable energy and leave oil to the dinosaurs. It's time for an energy revolution. (http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/press-center/reports4/energy-r-evolution-a-bluepr)

Power to the people,

Melanie Duchin

Global Warming Campaigner


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I may be jumping in here, what gets me is that for the last two years, every financial quarter, exxon has record breaking profits. Every quarter the beat their previous record. Not only are they financially raping us but theyre doing so exponentially.Racheting up they greed every 3 months. Blatant apathy.

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DRILLING AND KILLING: LANDMARK TRIAL AGAINST CHEVRON BEGINS OVER ITS ROLE IN THE NIGER DELTA

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

In 1998, Nigerian protesters occupying a Chevron oil

platform were jailed and murdered. Now, the case is in a

U.S. court.

http://www.alternet.org/rights/105212/

A landmark trial has begun against the oil giant Chevron. A San Francisco district court is hearing a case brought by Nigerian plaintiffs who accuse Chevron of recruiting and supplying Nigerian military forces involved in a May 1998 shooting and killing of protesters in the oil-rich Niger Delta. The protesters were occupying a Chevron-owned oil platform called the Parabe platform, demanding jobs and compensation for environmental damage to their communities.Soon after landing in Chevron-leased helicopters, the Nigerian military shot to death two protesters and wounded several others. The eleven activists were detained for three weeks, thrown into the notorious Nigerian jails. During their imprisonment, one activist said he was handcuffed and hung from a ceiling fan hook for hours for refusing to sign a statement written by Nigerian federal authorities. Chevron claims force was used to defend the platform from a violent assault and hostage-taking by the protesters.

Chevron is being sued under the Alien Tort Claims Act, which allows foreign nationals to take legal action over crimes against them overseas.

In a moment, we'll be joined by two human rights activists involved in the case, but first I want to turn to an excerpt of the documentary Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship. Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill and I traveled to the Niger Delta to investigate Chevron's role in the killings in 1998. In the documentary, a Chevron official acknowledged to us that on May 28, 1998, the company transported Nigerian soldiers to the Parabe oil platform. This is an excerpt of Drilling & Killing.

Amy Goodman:
Until now, Chevron has claimed that its only action against the occupation was to call the federal authorities and tell them what was happening. But in a startling admission in a three-hour interview with
Democracy Now!
, Chevron spokesperson Sola Omole acknowledged that Chevron did much more. He admitted that Chevron actually flew in the soldiers who did the killing. And he further admitted that those men were from the notorious Nigerian navy.

Sola Omole:
I guess --

AG:
Who took them in?

SO:
What's that?

AG:
Who took them in?

SO:
Who took them in?

AG:
On Thursday morning, the Mobile Police, the navy?

SO:
We did. We did. We did. We, Chevron, did. We took them there.

AG:
By how?

SO:
Helicopters. Yes, we took them in.

AG:
Who authorized the call for the military to come in?

SO:
Chevron's management.

Jeremy Scahill:
Chevron's management. So, Chevron authorized the call for the military and transported the navy to the barge. On top of that, Chevron's acting head of security, James Neku, flew in with the military the day of the attack.

AG:
Were you on that helicopter?

James Neku:
Yes, I was in the helicopter.

AG:
And how many people were there in that helicopter?

JN:
That helicopter had seven -- six of us. There were six of us, six officers.

AG:
Including the Chevron pilot or not including?

JN:
I think excluding the pilot. Including the pilot would be seven.

AG:
And then, was it a mix of navy and --

JN:
A mix of navy and the police. The police were armed with tear smokes.

AG:
Was it the regular police or the Mobile Police?

JN:
Mobile Police.

AG:
The Mobile Police, also known as the kill 'n' go. That's the kill and go. Shell Oil, the largest producer of oil in Nigeria, came under heavy international condemnation in recent years for their use of the Mobile Police, forcing them to publicly renounce the use of the kill and go because of their brutal record in Ogoniland.

Oronto Douglas:
They shoot without question. They kill. They maim. They rape. They destroy.

AG:
Environmental lawyer Oronto Douglas was one of the lawyers on Ken Saro-Wiwa's defense team.

OD:
The kill and go are a murderous band of undisciplined paramilitary Mobile Police force. Their order is to kill. When they go to a community, it's not to maintain peace, it is not to maintain order.


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Just in time for Halloween, we bring you some scary tricks that energy companies have up their sleeves..

Big Oil companies spend a whole lot of money for slick ad campaigns to make it look like they’re pioneering efforts towards a cleaner environment, when they’re actually continuing to be the biggest part of the problem—that is, the drilling, production and burning of fossil fuels which contribute to climate change and toxic pollution.

Here’s an example: Chevron has a “Will You Join Us” campaign which features smiling people who pledge to carpool, and use less energy. But, Chevron itself only committed on average $400 million a year between 2002 and 2007 for development of renewable and alternative energies—a mere fraction of the $18.7 billion in profits they made in 2007.

We think that energy efficiency efforts are great—they’re the cheapest and most effective changes for immediate benefits. But, individual energy efficiency should happen along with government mandated emissions reductions, corporate standards for fuel efficiency, and massive investment in renewable energies. And, highlighting individual efforts should not be a smoke screen for the inaction of Big Oil.

ExxonMobil does one better: Exxon likes to tout its $100 million support (over 10 years) of efforts to develop technology which will capture and bury carbon emissions. But $100 million is a drop in the bucket of the record of $40 billion that Exxon made in profits in 2007. They could spend more on investments in renewable technologies, but they don’t.

And what’s more, ExxonMobil has consistently funded groups that deny that climate change is real and that human activity is the main driver of global warming.

So the next time you see slick ad campaigns by oil companies claiming their leadership in the fight against global warming, don’t be tricked. In all likelihood, it’s just a mask..


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