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Who's to blame for the oil spill?


Fri, Jul 9th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

rsauer@fillmorecountyjournal.com

The gulf oil spill disaster has too many parents to do DNA testing to sort it all out. It is tragic, not just for the poor people in the Gulf States, for the whole country. Assigning blame has sucked all the air out of attention to the many other pressing problems. It has distracted the politicians, the press, and the public. It is dramatic and thus easily used to divert our attention from other shenanigans.

I can give you a list of who I think are the most responsible people. Ninety-eight percent of the blame should fall on British Petroleum (BP), Halliburton and other drill platform providers, the Gulf States administrations, the Obama administration, the Bush administration, the dozen or so administrations before those above, and the American public.

BP has the worst safety record of any oil company operating in the United States. We all know of the Texas City refinery explosion that killed 15 and injured 120 workers. In the last five years, accidents have killed 41 BP workers. In the last three years, BP showed it had not changed its ways and had 760 citations for "egregious, willful" safety violations. This constitutes 97 percent of OSHA's "egregious, willful" violations. During the same time Conoco-Phillips had eight and Exxon had one. BP didn't even fix the 2004 problems at the Texas City plant that killed those workers and was fined for it less than a year ago.

Memos obtained by the New York Times and others give a clear picture of BP cutting corners on safety in the gulf with and without the approval of Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the Interior Department.

That brings us to the Obama administration. Despite what the Republicans like to say now, there was an administration between Clinton's and Obama's ,but that doesn't excuse all guilt. A lot of environmentalists are saying "I told you so" about the appointment of Ken Salazar as Secretary of the Interior. He has a long history of cohabitation with industry.

MMS section of the Interior may be the worst of a long dysfunctional part of the government. In 2008 MMS personnel in Colorado were found to be literally in bed with oil and mining company employees. The head of the MMS section lost her job over the scandal involving sexual favors, drug parties, and junkets for MMS regulators. Salazar had to know about the scandal since this happened in his back yard. You would think taking this job, the first order of busi .....
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Each of us can help sooth The beast threatening our economic future

Fri, Jul 9th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

kreisner@fillmorecountyjournal.com

Ever rising health care costs and an aging population are driving so-called "entitlement" program expenses through the roof, growing much faster than even a robust economy. Over the past decade the cost of t ..... 
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It's tough to give Americans what they want

Fri, Jul 2nd, 2010
Posted in Commentary

The Gulf oil spill has laid bare a series of shortcomings in the government's ability both to prevent and to respond to such a crisis, and the result is spiraling public frustration. But it might not hurt for members of the public to save a little o ..... 
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Online article comments at fillmorecountyjournal.com

Fri, Jul 2nd, 2010
Posted in Commentary

All online comments are unedited and presented as published by the original author.

In response to a commentary titled: Catastrophe, published in the Journal on June 28, 2010

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Article comment by: Fr ..... 
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Catastrophe - 6/28/10

Fri, Jun 25th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Imagine thousands of barrels of oil day after day gushing out of a Fillmore County field and spreading across our agricultural land, through our grasslands and forests and into our springfed streams. Property values plummet, businesses close, jobs a ..... 
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There is no substitute for robust oversight

Fri, Jun 25th, 2010
Posted in Commentary

In the wake of the Gulf oil spill, it seems like every day brings new word of some calamitous failing at the Minerals Management Service, the federal agency charged with regulating offshore oil drilling. There's an inspector-general's report citing ..... 
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Foreign policy Are we safe or sorry?

Mon, Jun 21st, 2010
Posted in Commentary

It is important at this time to take a closer look at our foreign policy as to whether we, as a nation, are on a path to becoming a sanctuary against terrorism. The events of 9/11 are still looming in the background, and the attempted car bombing in ..... 
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Morse - Letter to the Editor

Mon, Jun 21st, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Letter about MN leaders

I appreciate how Minnesota legislators and the governor came together this spring with a solution for providing medical care for the poorest adults in our state through the GAMC program. I know the plan was not perfect ..... 
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Ritchie - Letter to the Editor

Mon, Jun 21st, 2010
Posted in Commentary

Letter about Protecting our Freedoms

Your piece called "Protecting our Freedoms" was inspiring and powerful. Thank you very much for this much needed perspective. If we knew more of our history and about the sacrifices made on our behalf we m ..... 
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