Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Shocking Secret About Alaskan Oil

During the Clinton Administration years, experts within the oil industry sought ways to pressure both Congress and the Clinton Administration to find some logic to invade and occupy Iraq because oil industry scientists believed that as much as 220 billion barrels of undiscoverd oil was in Iraq, the world's largest supply of oil, and about a 98 year supply at the present consumption levels. Even though a large supply of oil was close to the mainland U.S. in Alaska, oil industry scientists knew some shocking secrets about this oil that few in the public knew about that made the risks of war in Iraq seem like a far better alternative than the widespread use of Alaskan oil.

While many in the oil industry also did push for more drilling for North Slope Alaskan oil, they worked with their powerful Republican allies in Congress such as Senator Ted Stevens to help shield the industry from expensive lawsuits because of the some shocking secrets about Alaskan oil revealed during chemical analysis. On one hand many in the Republican leadership that were pushing for more Alaska oil drilling, including the White House claimed that this drilling was vital for "energy independence" , while on the other hand working to shape federal and EPA rules to shield the industry from expensive lawsuits because of the shocking truth about Alaskan oil that the industry and their Republican supporters have long known about, but have avoided publicly disclosing.

The shocking truth about the North Slope Alaskan oil is that it contains extremely high levels of cancer causing toxic benzene that present day automobile antipollution systems are not able to properly filter from the exhaust. For every mile driven, Alaskan North Slope oil emits up to 50% more toxic compounds into the air per mile than any oil from any other area of the world. Because of the extremely high level of dangerous toxic benzene output, Alaskan North Slope oil is absolutely unsuitable for use as gasoline for mass use in automobiles. Yet both the oil industry and their Republican allies in the White House and Congress have worked hard to conceal this secret, while at the same time working to tailor EPA rules to protect the industry from lawsuits for the expected rise in injuries and death from the use of the highly toxic Alaskan North Slope oil.

The fact of the matter is that oil industry as well Bush Administration controlled EPA experts know full well that toxic benzene passes into the bloodstream after being inhaled by the lungs and manages to store in fat and the bone marrow. After 48 hour, the level of toxic benzene in the body does drop somewhat, however repeated exposure means that the substance never really leaves the body, giving benzene the opportunity for genetic damage including birth defects, damage to the immune system and blood, and increases the chances of persons developing cancers by as much as 25%.

One of the only oil industry companies to actively work to reduce benzene levels is BP which installed a refinery at Cherry Point in Washington for $115 million which also works to reduce sulfur levels as well. But this is strickly a voluntary action, as most of the other oil companies are waiting until the EPA finally requires a reduction of benzene levels in 2011, allowing for a few more years for the Bush Administration and the next administration to continue war to pacify Iraq or secure another cleaner MidEast source of oil and make far less use of the toxic oil from Alaska. Current EPA rules also protect individual refiners with high benzene levels by failing to publicly disclose their level of benzene output in their products by falsely contending that such information is "confidential trade secrets" and protected information. However comparing toxic levels of poisonous substances that result in public health dangers and death to business trade secret such as the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe or the formula for Coka Cola is an absurdity.

The Bush controlled EPA also prevents local communities and states from enacting tougher laws to clean up the benzene toxic problem . Only after some lawsuits, did the Bush controlled EPA finally agree to the 2011 deadline to deal with some reduction in toxic benzene levels. But for now the EPA is only accepting public comments on the benzene problem, including allowing big oil companies to purchase pollution credits, ahead of a report on the subject that will be released long after the November election.

The toxic benzene problem is just another area in which the public can see where the big oil industry, the Republican leadership of Congress and the Bush Administration know of a serious public health problem, but use the wheels of government to protect the industry and to endanger the public health. It is yet another pathetic example of your government at work under Bush Administration control by the big business oligarchy that controls the Republican Party to manupulate the government to protect public health threats for the sake of corporate profits. When industry and big business conspire together as they do to conceal and protect the benzene health threat, then the public welfare is put into great danger. It is yet another crass example of profits above people from this government under Bush big business leadership, where 42 major members of the Bush Administration are either oil company executives, major stock holders or former board members. Dr. Condoleezza Rice, for just example was a former Board Of Directors member for Chevron oil.


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