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Blackbirds in Alaska

December 3, 2006

And black fish, black seals, black whales, and starving Alaskan Natives. Yes, Mr. President is considering another lovely concession to the oil companies, this time taking the unprecedented (and limber) position of slapping his father in the face while bending over for Big Oil by lifting the ban on drilling in the federal waters of Bristol Bay off the coast of Alaska.

You may ask why this is a slap in the face to George Sr. I would answer that this is because the ban was enacted by his dad after a little known even called the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. If you are one of the 10 or 12 people in the world who hasn’t heard of this, I’ll summarize. On March 24th, 1989, an oil tanker called the Exxon Valdez, carrying some 52,000,000 gallons of oil hit the Bligh Reef in Prince William sound, dumping 10 million gallons of it’s oil into the water and killing a huge number of the local wildlife and covering some 1900km of the Alaskan coast in oil. Since this area was (and still is) home to many endangered species including orca, sea lions, and bald eagles, President George Bush the First placed a ban on drilling in the federal waters in Bristol Bay.

What could be worth endangering the salmon, sea lion, migratory bird, king crab, etc, etc population?

Some 200 million barrels of crude oil, about what the U.S. imports every 16 days, are thought to be there. The agency estimates the region could yield 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas — a quarter of all U.S. annual production.

16 days worth of oil and a quarter of a years worth of natural gas production. 16 days and 3 months worth of energy. Maybe it would be more worthy to leave the bay alone and instead put a plan in to educate Americans on energy conservation. Or to give funds to clean, renewable energy. Unfortunately, Mr. President lacks the foresight when it comes to energy. Perhaps he likes getting his prostate massages from the oil companies too much to let them go.

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