Condoleezza Rice condemns Iran - standing next to a Dictator!

I was writing away on my German Diary while half watching the news on BBC World. Something caught my eye there for a slight second, a familiar face, a foreign flag. I had my suspicions but thought it could not be. So I went to the website of the State Department and after some digging (they didn't seem to want to post it on their frontpage) I found out that I was not mistaken.

There was Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State of the USA, standing to one of the world's most brutal and notorious dictators, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea. All that was reported on the news, of course were her statements condemming Iran for enriching uranium.  It wasn't too dangerous to allow questions since the two questions reporters were allowed, of course, solely focused on Iran. Not on the dictator.

Quotes, links and more below the fold.

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Peak oil or no peak oil?

Excellent podcast interview of Robert Bryce on the home page which discusses peak oil in detail.  Check out the Ray McGovern, Paul Craig Roberts, and William Odom interviews in the archive.  www.electricpolitics.com
 

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Porter Goss And The UAE-Oiltra Affair.

(Note: this is a hyperspeculative scenario. It's saving grace is that it curve-fits the present circumstances with 99% accuracy)

Porter J. Goss became Director of the Central Intelligence Agency on 21 April 2005, in a White House "Saturday Night Massacre" of the nation's entire intelligence community. -- And a whole lot has happened since (certainly not all of it stemming from the elevation of Mr. Goss).

Now for my hyperspeculative scenario:

The entire Iraq Invasion and Occupation is a vast neo-intelligence-media junta fraud. The black agencies are successfully pumping more oil out of Iraq right now than the Mississippi is (or is nearly) pouring polluted water into the Gulf of Mexico. And the neo-intelligence-media junta is scrambling to rake in the $trillions.

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Corporate Message, Corporate Reality

Working closely with the non-profit sector, especially non-profits that deal with energy and transportation policy, I always find it a bit odd that, while oil companies like Exxon/Mobil are castigated for their lack of concern for the environment, BP is almost uniformly praised, even among those who are supposed to be in the know. The reason, of course, is that BP has a marketing department more adept at green messaging. Hopefully, a story in this morning's New York Times will help shatter that conventional wisdom.

Earlier this month, a massive oil spill pumped anywhere from a few thousand to nearly a million gallons of crude oil onto the tundra at Alaska's Prudhoe Bay. It is the largest oil spill on Alaska's North Slope to date. Previously in February of 2001, two other oil spills dumped almost ten thousand gallons into the same region. As recently as last spring, there were three more spills in the area. These disasters have one thing in common -- BP was responsible for all of them. Here's some more information from the latest Times piece.

... one of the company's longtime employees, a mechanic and local union official who has participated in the spill cleanup, said in a telephone interview that he and his colleagues had repeatedly warned their superiors that cutbacks in routine maintenance and inspection had increased the chances of accidents or spills.

In the interview, Marc Kovac, who is an official of the United Steelworkers union, which represents workers at the BP facility, said he had seen little change in BP's approach despite the warnings.

"For years we've been warning the company about cutting back on maintenance," Mr. Kovac said, adding that he was speaking for himself, not the union. "We know that this could have been prevented."

Maintenance at BP's Prudhoe Bay facility has been a problem for some time now. In 2001, The Wall Street Journal reported that the valves designed to protect against pipeline leaks and ruptures were not working properly and "can't be relied upon to shut in an emergency, creating the potential for a natural catastrophe." And here's where the story gets even worse. When Republicans talk about opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge up to drilling, they point to nearby Prudhoe Bay as a guide on environmental impact. For example, look at the 2005 Heritage Foundation report titled "Opening ANWR: Long Overdue."

Good Energy Policy
The Prudhoe Bay experience also presents strong evidence that drilling can be done with only a modest impact on the environment. Decades of drilling on a scale much larger than that envisioned in ANWR have not harmed the porcupine caribou herds near Prudhoe Bay or caused any of the other environmental problems that were predicted. Thirty years makes a difference, too. Drilling in ANWR would be done with much better environmental safeguards than were available in the 1970s. And today's technology is far more environmentally friendly than that available 30 years ago.

In case you happen to be curious, BP has indeed been a major financial backer of the Heritage Foundation over the years. But of course, their support for Heritage pales in comparison to their support of K Street. The company has spent nearly three million dollars on lobbying in 2005 alone. It goes without saying that pro-corporate think tanks like Heritage are, by definition, easier to buy off than Congress.

When will corporations wake up to the fact that there is long-term value in real environmental responsibility? People obviously want to buy what their advertising is purporting to sell, but the reality just isn't there. It's one thing for a company like BP to run an ad campaign that promotes the idea that the company is committed to sustainability and renewables, but it's ultimately pointless if it's just to divert attention away from BP's horrible record of managerial irresponsibility in places like Prudhoe Bay.

A World Lit by Energy Warfare

...Now, will a US pullout bring stability to the Middle East? Also realistically, does a continuing occupation of Iraq provide stability? The mounting US internal and external debt alone is bringing the wolf to the door; in fact many doors, and they are met with funeral cries in American and Iraqi households...

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