My heart goes out to the fisherman and oil workers whose lives have been forever changed by the devastating pipeline blowout in the Gulf. Every night we hear horror stories of how this business or that that has been impacted.
The pundits and politicians point fingers at BP and the government, trying to fix blame for this tragic accident when the real focus of their energy should be to get the leak repaired and clean up the mess. There will be plenty of time for finger pointing after the oil leak is stopped. (Sound familiar, forest fires and fuel reduction)
My biggest question in this whole event is “Where are the big environmental groups and why are they waiting on the sidelines?”
The parallel with what is going on in the Gulf and what has happened to the timber dependent communities in the West is amazingly similar. Their ultimate goal is the closure of a critical natural resource based industry. The difference being, instead of a long term planned approach that they used against the timber industry, the oil industry was handed to them on a silver platter. Instead of a spotted owl the creature of choice will be a Brown Pelican or Atlantic Tern or some mollusk as an indicator specie to stop exploration.
NEPA, EIS’S, ESA and a hundred other acronyms will be the new language of the Gulf. Appeals, moratoriums, litigations, standing, litigant compensation will become familiar terms. New York lawyers will flock to the Gulf like flies on road kill to represent one special interest after another for the sole purpose of lining their own pockets at the expense of Americas’ taxpayers, should the truth be known.
If the big environmental groups are ultimately going to be the big winner then who is going to be the big loser? As always the working people of this country are the ones that are going to take the big hit. Whether it is framed as a tax on energy consumption or called a carbon tax the cost of doing business just went up. And we all know that when the cost of doing business goes up working people pay the bill.
So my advice is pretty straight forward, hang on to your wallet. Go to the polls in the coming national elections, work for and financially support candidates that have your visions for the Country’s future.
Remember: “The country is run by those who show up”. The time is now and the need has never been greater.
Mike Weideman is the President of the American Loggers Council, which represents over 50,000 logging professionals in 30 states. Mike’s operation, BTO Logging, is headquartered in Enterprise, Oregon. For more information please contact the American Loggers Council office at 409-625-0206 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.