Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Eye on the Prize, not BP

Article by Dr. Ada Fisher
- NC Republican National Committee Woman

As I watch my 1000+ retirement shares of BP slowly sink in the murky abyss of unrelenting gushes of oil, I don’t personally give a damn if the BP CEO yachts or Obama plays golf; they might as well since both haven’t a clue what to do.

First, the president’s panel to investigate Deepwater Disaster contains not one oil man or American Petroleum Institute member... which is ludicrous. Unless you have been involved in oil drilling you don’t know the dynamics of the process and the safeguard procedures currently available for deployment to address the issues. There should be someone in occupational medicine with veterinary experience to address the human and animal concerns at play as well as the threat to the food chain for man and beast. The dumb remarks of Chris Matthews on Hardball saying early on that the government should nationalize oil was stupid. We have neither the expertise to do such, nor is our current oversight structure proving effective. It is inadequate and inept.

Second, the help we need is not being invoked. As Bush did with Katrina this administration should invoke a set aside of the Jones Act which would allow non-American vessels to help collect this oil. Since Obama is blaming him for everything else, give him credit for doing this and follow suit. Could it also be that the sluggishness in this is because BP may want to caldron all the oil for itself to help pay the bills it has promised to pay? The priority should be to stop the leak and clean up the oil!

Third, Congress should not be allowed off the hook in permitting companies such as BP to buy out AMOCO which sold not only their operations but gave that company control of 80+% of USA natural gas reserves. International conglomerates are being allowed to play by rules that jeopardize national sovereignty and remove strategic resources from a country to be sold on the open market with no accountability to that country of resource’s origin. It will be intriguing to see how the USA can hold a licensed company of the United Kingdom to its rules and make them pay when they scream enough.

Fourth, unlike others, I am not convinced BP is solely to blame for the oil spill - for lurking underreported in the background is a spontaneous substantial leak of oil on the ocean floor which is not being considered in the clean up equation. With the earthquakes in the islands and floor of the ocean in that area, one must wonder if the underground tectonic plate shifts have caused an extraordinary build up of pressure and any hole or weakness in the ocean floor may serve as a pop-off valve.

Fifth, this disaster provides an opportune time to expand the numbers, not reduce by 4% the US Coast Guard as the Obama Administration previously proposed. It is evident that the USCG role in disasters is critical to our Homeland Defense and National Security. Upping their ranks from 40,000 to at least 60,000 would add more calm to our storm tossed seas.

Sixth, now is a good time to look at the profit structure of mega-corporations which use our resources. Why are not BP, Exxon, Shell and others who drill on our land required to give one-third of their profits from such to the treasury? It is a better way to handle this than the socialistic wealth redistribution through unfair taxes being proposed.

Seventh, why are company profits not going to shareholders? Though BP makes billions in profits, my shareholder statements show that we stakeholders didn’t share in those profits. So who is getting the money and who protects our interests?

Eighth, as one who has long opposed drilling and building nuclear power plants, the spill confirms my concern that tested back-up plans for worst case scenarios must be in place before folks go off half-cocked doing things with little or no preparation when something goes wrong.

Ninth, it must be appreciated that no new refineries have been built in this nation in more than thirty years. Several old AMOCO facilities are operating at less than full capacity in Mandan, ND , Salt Lake City, Utah , Whiting, Indiana and Yorktown, VA. What dictates bringing the old on line and building new?

And Tenth, let us not forget about the need for research into the regulations in place and those proposed to insure that they do protect the public’s safety and promote sound environmental stewardship not just create obstacles to production.

Just some food for thought, appreciating that if we don’t clean up the oil we may not have sufficient water to wash it down.

Extremely useful comments from someone who is an expert in this field. I like Thomas Sowell’s take on this too. No matter whether BP was totally wrong in this or not, do you want to live in a nation where the President can extort $20 billion from you just because you are afraid of him?

Dr, Fisher is a physician noted for her practical solutions for delivering cost effective medical care and was previously a Medical Director of Amoco Oil Company (Now a part of BP after the merger). She can be reached at DrFisher@GETADOCTORINTHEHOUSE.com


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