Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Kennedy Hypocrisy

I thought that Robert Kennedy, being an environmental attorney and anti-fascist would understand the plea of a community vastly outnumbered by a multi-billion dollar company, the Bush/Schwarznegger Administrations and the fossil fuel industry. Robert has been slugging away at Exxon/Mobil, the reincarnation of the Standard Oil trust broken up at the beginning of the 20th century. The tide is turning toward finding an end to our fossil fuel dependence in our country. Even George Bush admits that we are addicted to oil.

Now Robert has come to support, Mati Waiya’s “courageous” support of BHP Billiton’s off shore LNG project. Mati’s support is a reversal of his position on past LNG projects in our community. I would feel more comfortable with his courage if he had not received money and support for his organization from BHP Billiton. LNG is the fossil fuel industries version of light cigarettes. It is just as lethal and just as addictive as the regular brand. Robert speaks of LNG as a bridge fuel. That same rhetoric has been used for years to stall the conversion of our country to renewable energy. Why? Because sunlight is free!

Loretta Lynch, former chair of the California Public Utilities commission, sites evidence that contrary to claims by the fossil fuel industry, there is no shortage of natural gas in our state. As a matter of fact, demand has declined. She can show that through conservation, re-fitting of old technology gas plants and getting serious about renewable energy, we won’t need to import LNG. What glad tidings. Members of her organization have approached Ralph Cavanaugh, Kennedy’s energy director for the National Resources Defense Council, to convey this message. Cavanaugh will not meet with them. Why would a kindred organization dedicated to stopping global warming staffed by sincere and dedicated people be silenced?

On Friday I went to see Al Gore speak at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. He had just been nominated for a Nobel peace prize as well an Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth. The message of his film is clear. We face a planetary emergency. The time to end fossil fuel use is now. It is time for a first world solution, not more fossil fuel delusions.

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