This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, September 04, 2015

The Environmentalist President

"Arctic ecosystems are among the most pristine and understudied in the world, meaning increased commercial activity comes with significant risks to the environment."
"The growth of human activity in the Arctic region will require highly engaged stewardship to maintain the open seas necessary for global commerce and scientific research, allow for search-and-rescue activities, and provide for regional peace and stability."
Obama White House
Shell: Giant oil rig to be towed to Seattle this weekAn oil drilling rig arrives aboard a transport ship, following a journey across the Pacific, Friday, April 17, 2015, in view of the Olympic Mountains in Port Angeles, Wash. (Daniella Beccaria/seattlepi.com via AP)
"It's the biggest buildup of the Russian military since the Cold War. They're reopening ten bases and building four more, and they're all in the Arctic, so here we are in the middle of the pond, feeling a little bit uncomfortable."
Alaska Governor Bill Walker, Anchorage
Rumour is that U.S. President Obama is on the cusp of ruling finally on Canada's Keystone XL oil pipeline. All the previous State Department clearances aside, the country whose carbon record for burning dirty coal remains concerned over Alberta's 'oilsands'. The seven-year delay has resulted from his determination to look good to the environmentalists who support his vision of the climate Apocalypse, and his intention to leave an enviable legacy as the world's premier environmental visionary.

So, what gives, with the announcement that it's perfectly all right to enter the pristine environment of the Arctic with oil drilling equipment...? Shell to be permitted to drill for oil 8,000 feet below the Arctic seabed off the coast of Alaska. While feting Mr. Obama over his hostility to Keystone, environmental groups are puzzling over this unanticipated turn of events.

"It sends a terrible signal to the rest of the world for the United States to be using public resources to promote that development", stated Niel Lawrence of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Mr. Obama's justification to proceed with oil exploration in the Arctic, that the U.S. will require the oil "is rooted in the assumption that next to nothing will be done to tackle the global climate crisis", observes Hannah McKinnon of Oil Change International.

The construction of a pipeline across a few Midwestern states which already have similar lines in place, and with years of building experience dealing with such pipelines is considered a greater threat than a drilling rig thousands of miles in the Chukchi Sea, navigable about four months of the year, where some of the world's harshest weather is experienced. U.S. Coast Guard rescued 18 oil workers in 2012 when a giant Shell rig broke free and ran aground in stormy seas.

"I would rather us, with all the safeguards and standards that we have, be producing our oil and gas, rather than importing it, which is bad for our people, but is also potentially purchased from places that have much lower environmental standards than we do", Mr. Obama asserted, as though the Deepwater Horizon disaster only five years ago had never happened, killing 11 workers, taking 87 days to control.

The American Coast Guard fleet is an aging one, and there are only two ice breakers at the disposal of the Coast Guard. Russia has 41 icebreakers and plans to add another 11. Canada has two heavy icebreakers for the Arctic coast, with another on the way. Obama's grandiose vision of environmental stability under his watch is a grand lesson in hypocrisy.

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