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Sunday, January 24, 2010

More wildlife and plantlife killed needlessly because of human behavior

I just read that another oil tanker has been involved in a serious oil spill! The tanker Eagle Otome  crashed into some barges in the waters off of Port Arthur, Texas! If you look at a photograph of the accident you will be perplexed as me as to why this accident had to happen:






Apparently this oil spill has occurred in crucial breeding ground and a wildlife management area that lost its protective gates when Hurricane Ike roared ashore a year and a half ago, which is really bad news!!  According to news articles I have read concerning this awful situation,  this tanker is owned by Exxon and thus far this tanker  has spilled at least 450,000 gallons of oil into this sensitive natural area!!!!


Source of image: http://www.piersystem.com/go/doc/425/460483/

According to a news report at  http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6831945.html,:

this tanker was even "double-hulled" ,which leaves us to wonder exactly who is regulating and watching over oil companies to ensure that their tankers are not going to break up like this after an accident such as  this??

"Jefferson County Emergency Management Coordinator Greg Fountain said he believed about 1,000 barrels, or 42,000 gallons, ended up in the river."

 According to this last news report, this accident was caused because:

"The 807-foot Eagle Otome was carrying crude oil to a nearby Exxon refinery when it inexplicably lost power about 10 a.m. Saturday. The drifting ship collided with one of two chemical-laden barges being pushed by the tugboat Dixie Vengeance."

Why did this tanker not possess a backup power system  to prevent this sort of accident from occurring?

"Exxon Mobil Corp. reported a profit of $45.2 billion for 2008, breaking its own record for a U.S. company, even as its fourth-quarter earnings fell 33 percent from a year ago. (source:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/30/exxon-mobil-reports-recor_n_162468.html)

This company can make all of these billions of dollars but not be regulated by the United States Government to make the company's tankers more resistent to damage???  Exxon could not afford to put a backup power system on this and other tankers it owns??

For your information, Exxon directors have issued Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) Chief Executive Rex Tillerson  a 7 percent increase in salary in 2010, 
(source: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0151399920091201)


yet this sort of accident is allowed to occur and occur and occur?? Tillerson is going to make $2.2 million in salary in 2010!!!!  (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0151399920091201)


According to a news article written about this situation at:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/01/24/texas.oil.spill/index.html

"The port is primarily for industrial use, but it is not far from wetlands"

Why was this port constructed so close to a sensitive nature area?

According to a news article I found at the following website


 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703415804575023471968893174.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5

"Exxon said that the tanker's owner, Malaysia-based AET Inc., was handling the response. Richard Russell, vice president of operations for AET, said the company was cooperating fully with investigators and was prepared to shoulder cleanup costs, but cautioned that culpability for the accident remained unclear. "We take that responsibility very seriously," he said, declining to name the two pilots who were responsible for the tanker at the time"

 "Larry Nettles, an environmental attorney with Houston-based law firm Vinson & Elkins, said it was unlikely that Exxon would be held liable for the spill. "It is the vessel owner and operator responsibility, not the charterer's," he said.


So once again Big Oil is allowed to ignore its responsibility in a serious  matter due to the Federal Law of a country. Shouldn't the charterer of an oil- carrying  vessel have some responsibility to ensure that the the owner of the vessel has qualifed crew, and has a vessel with a backup power system installed to prevent this sort of accident from occurring in the first place?


According to a news report issued at the following website:

http://www.cleveland.com/nation/index.ssf/2010/01/coast_guard_officials_say_oil.html

"The Coast Guard said a crude oil spill in a southeast Texas port had been contained to a two-mile area and was not believed to have hurt any local wildlife."

How could the Coast guard say such a thing? How could they have possibly made an assessment of all of the wildlife and plant life which lives around the areas of a spill in such a short period of time?

According to the website:http://www.lone-star.net/mall/txtrails/porta.htm

"McFaddin and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuges are to the south on the Gulf along Texas 87. At Sabine Pass is Texas Point Refuge, once called Sea Rim. As with other Gulf Coast refuges in the state, tremendous concentrations of waterfowl are seen as well as a great variety of more than 60,000 snow geese (along with white-fronted and Canada geese) use the marsh; 23 species of ducks are represented and the number on the refuges reaches 100,000. The mottled duck, the only resident waterfowl species, uses the marsh for its summer nesting habitat. The McFaddin Refuge contains one of the densest populations of American alligators in Texas"

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.