Greedy energy industry hasn't changed

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Polls show Americans trust private business more than they trust the government. This reveals an astounding naïvete. It's the influence of private industry that largely controls the U.S. government today. Recent coal-mining and oil-drilling disasters illustrate how corrupt our government has become.

The Bush administration let the energy industry write their own safety rules. The purpose of private enterprise is to maximize profit. Steps to protect the environment, worker safety and consumers reduce this profit, so naturally the energy industry chose to cut corners by writing weak regulations.

Contrary to the near daily letters on this page condemning President Obama as a socialist or Marxist, the current administration simply has been a continuation of the previous one that let the energy industry do whatever it wanted. Permits are still issued without adequate regulatory review. Moreover, just like the previous administration, ridiculous claims are made that modern technology makes the old fossil-fuel business safer than ever.

Augusta could become the site of a disaster far surpassing the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. The nuclear industry claims that new reactors are safer than ever. This is an alarming lie. Like the oil and coal businesses, the company building new nuclear reactors wants to maximize profit by cutting corners. New designs for nuclear reactors don't include redundant containment systems, which have proved necessary for the old ones 80 times in the past 45 years.

Regulations influenced by utility companies actually discourage private homeowners from investing in residential solar power. Energy companies can't make a profit from people who generate their own energy. We are headed for more disasters unless the people demand that politicians support policies for the common good over those maximizing profits for a greedy few.

Mark Gelbart

Augusta

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Nat the Cat
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Nat the Cat 05/30/10 - 12:16 am
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I was wondering how long it

I was wondering how long it would take for some [one] to blame Bush for the Oil Spill disaster, even though the hundreds of very serious safety violations were identifed recently during the Obama Administration and Obama did not demand that BP fix any of them. Not one! I really don't like breaking it to you, Mark, but this Disaster is Obama's Baby. Like it or not.

carcraft
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carcraft 05/30/10 - 04:29 am
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Well we had government

Well we had government regulators in the stock market-watching porn on computers and Madof and other unsound investment schemes went rampant. We had environmental regulators supposed to insure the rigs were safe, safety systems were in place, environmental impact plans were in place etc-permits were issued and officials ignored the regulations they were supposed to inforce! On and on it goes so the obvious solution to liberals is more regulations and more regulators because the ones we have aren't working! NOw we have a new health care system with more regulations by the government and it is costing 12% more than it was supposed to and it hasn't gone into effect yet! LOL Dream on Mr. Gelbert dream on, for the rest of us this is a nightmare..

carcraft
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carcraft 05/30/10 - 08:01 am
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Mr Gelbert seems to give the

Mr Gelbert seems to give the envirnmentalist that are forcing drilling in 5,000 feet of water a pass! We have oil in Anwar, of the coast off California and the east coast in SHALLOW water that is easy to get too. This diseaster could have been avoid or handled in days not months. New Orleans flooded because storm surge buffers were blocked by environmentalists. DDT was banned killing millions in Africa all a fraud. Now we are told by these same wacko nut job environmentalists that the earth is warming , which is clearly false, so we need to tax and restrict energy production so Al Gore can have two hugh mansions and make millions in carbon offsets while we live in dark cold hovels and go bankrupt..

handoff57
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handoff57 05/30/10 - 05:39 am
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Why can't we just drill on

Why can't we just drill on dry land?? Unless it's one of the biggest pranks in the world, the largest reserve we have is on the Candian/US border, called the Bakken Reserve I think. If it's true, I'd much rather ruin the nests of a couple of spotted owls thant the whole coast of the Gulf and beyond.
As for the private industry Nukes that you speak of with such knowledge. List for me the land that has been ruined and the lives that have been claimed from these plants. If I were in charge, and yes I do have some experience in management, I would put all the players in the design of these plants in one room to work together until they came up with a package unit that could be reproduced with cost and safety, both in mind and install every where there is anything that runs off fuel oil.
And the same people that protest Nuclear energy with such gusto drive by the fertilizer plant every day without a clue.
Have a nice day and shake a veterans hand!!

Techfan
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Techfan 05/30/10 - 06:39 am
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hand: I'm guessing you got

hand: I'm guessing you got the Bakken info from a viral email since it showed up on snopes. Yes, there's oil there, but claims of the recoverable amount semm to be greatly exagerated. The best info I've found on it is http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3868 Long and technical, but deals with reality and not a political agenda.

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 05/30/10 - 07:12 am
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Mark, you trust the
Unpublished

Mark, you trust the government and call those who don't naive? Oh, and of course, the oil industry is the great evil. Please, tell us all about that battery operated car you're driving. Talk about naive.

CorporalGripweed
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CorporalGripweed 05/30/10 - 10:05 am
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I guess you're only allowed

I guess you're only allowed to make a profit on things no one needs. Otherwise you're called "greedy".

southernguy08
532
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southernguy08 05/30/10 - 10:39 am
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Great post CORPORAL. Funny
Unpublished

Great post CORPORAL. Funny how I don't hear Obama denigrating the big stars in Hollywood, many of which won't sign a contract to do a movie for less than 20 million. I guess they haven't reached that point that O thinks they've made enough. What a joke this administration is. But, more "change" is coming baby!

disssman
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disssman 05/30/10 - 12:14 pm
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Hands. And oil isn't under

Hands. And oil isn't under all dry land. But it sure is under the areas right off the coast, where a few well heeled property owners and environmentalist are dictating laws that affect people thousands of miles inland. And for what, so their view when they wake up some mornings is pristine. If we are willing to pay 8 10 dollars a gallon for gas or ride bicycles (like the chinese) then we need to stop drilling period.

As to the person who wants to put Nuc plants up everywhere, just tell us where you want to put the waste and I hope it isn't in my back yard. As I recall we are yo-yoing a train loaded with the stuff right now because no state will have it. I am afraid I agree with CARCRAFTs 9:01 post, we had better take a good hard look before we jump, because the bottom may be beyond the reach of most of us.

142
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Dan White 05/30/10 - 03:39 pm
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Mark, I wonder if you are

Mark, I wonder if you are doing YOUR part in energy conservation. Have you installed solar panels to reduce coal fired or nuclear electricity? Do you drive a hybrid car? Do you have the new energy savings florescent bulbs in all of your light fixtures? Do you have energy saving appliances? If you answer no to any of these, then you are a hypocrite of the highest order like Al Gore. If you have gone "green," then my congratulations!

Lou Stewall
374
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Lou Stewall 05/30/10 - 04:40 pm
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Mark, you be the first to

Mark, you be the first to live without oil or any of its byproducts. Throw every plastic item out of your house, starting with your computer.

gaspringwater
3
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gaspringwater 05/30/10 - 06:08 pm
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Well put Mr. Gelbart! Big is

Well put Mr. Gelbart!

Big is not always better and we've allowed corporation giants to become too big to serve humanity's best interest. They wield huge sums of money to influence and control governments. They can corrupt their regulators and buy freedom of operation.

The US Government agency with oversight responsibilities for oil and gas drilling is the U.S. Minerals Management Service ( MMS ). The Inspector General of the Interior Department investigated MMS and released a damaging report in 2008. A dozen MMS officials were accused of unethical and criminal conduct in the performance of their duties. The New York Times said the investigation revealed "a dysfunctional organization that had been riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch."

Increased scrutiny prompted MMS to propose stricter safety and environmental rules for offshore oil drilling. But a BP Vice President opposed the MMS safety rules in testimony before the US Senate in November 2009. He defended the industry's existing regulatory system. Claimed that drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf had been shown to be “both safe and protective of the environment.” Big oil didn't want more safety rules and government inspectors. And Congress allowed the oil giants to continue doing business as usual.

Five months and one day later the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico burst into flames. The extent of the damage is unknown at this date but it can be the worst catastrophe in US history.

Mega-size business is a problem common to both capitalist and socialist countries. Big Money Corrupts. And nations of the world should consider dismantling big corporations into smaller and more manageable sizes.
Corporations that society can control instead of the other way around.

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