credit: Jim Morin, Miami Herald
BC Idowanna sez: Me have'm pig-in-poke sell you!
US Person did not say this, but the guy who created the ubiquitous "Hope" poster for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. You know the one, a multicolored tinge of a black-and-white Obama appearing vaguely reminiscent of a sixties civil rights leader. The artist Shepard Fairey, who also voted for the guy, said Obama is "not even close" to living up to his image. No wonder, when Obama shills for the plutocracy's cheap labor, ecosystem killing treaties* like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It's free trade for corporations only.
Determined to win his war of propaganda, POTUS has taken to issuing "tweets". Only small minds read tweets, limited to 140 words, but his latest 3 part twit concerns Shell's Arctic drilling program. In the twit he says, "we can't prevent oil exploration completely in region" which is true as far as it goes since Gazprom is already producing oil from the Arctic. However the drilling in the US Arctic is entirely under the Executive Branch's control. It issues necessary permissions through its agencies, primarily the Department of Interior. Far from the "highest possible standards" imposed on Shell, its Polar Pioneer rig, intended for use in the Chukchi Sea has already failed routine Coast Guard inspection in warmer waters this year. Shell's Kulluk(Thunder) platform that ran aground in a storm off Kodiak Island had to be scrapped. Why is Shell so hell-bent on drilling in the Arctic? The simple answer is starkly revealing of the international oil business. Shell got caught overstating its proven oil reserves by 4.47bn barrels or 22%. Shell stock dropped 10% overnight. Its chariman forced to resign. The company was fined by American and British financial regulators $150m for the mistatement. It needs more reserves to satisfy the financial markets regardless of the risk to sentient beings and their habitats. Shell will chose the independent auditor required by the government to operate in Arctic seas this summer--so much for standards in more than 140 words.
*Mexico's major accompishment under NAFTA was to win the removal of "dolphin safe" labels from canned tuna as an unfair competition practice. Its fleets do not practice dolphin safe harvesting. Next time you are in the store buying tuna look for the label--you won't find it.