Charles Keefer's Blog

Bill? Did you really ask me that?

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I just got an email quiz from Sen. Bill Nelson. He wants my opinion so badly that it is a true or false test.

But that isn’t what pissed me off. It was the sheer idiocy of the quiz that did it.

What is this, Bill? Checking to see if any of us have watched TV recently?

Here are the questions and my off the cuff answers.

1) Keep oil rigs away from states like Florida that rely on tourism, fishing and beach-front economies. Yes or no?

Do you mean is it OK to put leaking oil rigs off states like New Jersey that couldn’t attract a tourist with a free airline ticket? What difference does it make in what part of the world a run-away oil rig happens to be?

2) Raise the legal cap on damages companies would owe from an oil spill from $75 million to $10 billion? Yes or no?

Why not raise the cap to whatever the damage is? We have a run-away oil company here that thought safety was standing in the way of profits. They should pay the costs. If it kills the company, then good.

3) Find out wether there’s a lot of oil from the Gulf spill beneath the surface, and what the long-term threat might be. Yes or no?

Did I not just watch a couple months of live streaming video where BP was shooting stuff into the oil stream a mile down that would keep it from reaching the surface, therefore, they hoped, keep it from being counted as spilled? Does your TiVo not work?

4) Provide tax breaks for small businesses hurt by the spill and for employers who hire workers displaced by it. Yes or no?

Yeah, tax breaks. What if you don’t have the money to pay taxes because your business was poisoned with oil? How do you deduct bankruptcy?

5) Develop comprehensive energy legislation to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, like foreign oil? Yes or no?

Get serious. I’ve heard this line for the last 40 years. Here is your comprehensive legislation – public funding for elections so the oil companies, Wall Street, Boeing, and all the rest can’t buy Congress.

6) Conduct a criminal investigation and put those responsible for the spill behind bars? Yes or no?

Yeah. Really likely. We won’t even think about criminal prosecution for those who lied us into two wars in the Middle East costing trillions of dollars and thousands of lives. Why should we think about criminal prosecution for mere billions of dollars of damage in the gulf and 11 lives?

Yo, Bill. Next time you send me an email quiz, get serious.

Canada requires that for every oil well, they drill a relief well at the same time so if something bad happens, they have a way to stop it.

If you want the bastards to think safety, have them put up security for every well they drill – say $100 million per well. They get it back sometime in the future if things go well.

And what about the 32,000 wells in the gulf that have been capped because they stopped producing at a rate the oil companies wanted, but have not been checked in years? Think maybe a couple of those might be leaking and we just don’t know about it?

Bill, you are the one public official who has disappointed me the most. You have been in space. How, after going through astronaut training and an orbital flight, can you ask me whether we should try to understand how much oil might be hidden under the surface of the ocean and what the long term effects might be? What kind of question is that? Is an acceptable answer “No, I don’t want to know”?

I should have gone instead of you. I can’t imagine asking that question.


Written by Charles Keefer

July 29, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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