Friday, January 18, 2008

White on Washington

Sometimes, it's very hard to get the straight story.

This from the International Herald Tribune:

The directors of two Interior Department agencies said Thursday they're confident oil and gas exploration in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska can proceed without threatening polar bears that depend on the sea ice.

The officials appeared before a House special committee on global warming that is examining why the department is postponing a decision on whether to further protect the bear, at the same time it is proceeding with oil lease sales in the Alaska sea.

Just to repeat; a house committee hearing examining why the department is postponing a decision on whether or not to deem the polar bear endangered. It's kind of amazing -- a whole hearing on Capitol Hill examining delay...

The reason for the timing question is that the oil lease is up for market February 6. One would have to imagine that if the polar bear is deemed endangered, you have to be really careful not to kill them. This would be an important thing to avoid if you were going to drill for oil up in Alaska... if drilling for oil endangers polar bears...

A bunch of protesters went to the meeting dressed in polar bear suits.

image from a video clip on MNBC.

I want a polar bear suit!
I always wanted a polar bear suit -- I really wanted to be like Nastassia Kinsky in Hotel New Hampshire, when she walks around in a bear suit all the time. In fact, there's a really big writers meeting in New York in two weeks -- I'm feeling a little nauseous about the whole thing, and would feel MUCH better surrounding in white fur...

Sorry, I was talking about the polar bears --
I wrote about this before -- a week or so ago. But now it's a different thing -- I'm intrigued by the pressure of this.

An editorial in the San Jose Mercury news says:

Conveniently for the oil-centric Bush administration, the postponement allowed just enough time to go ahead with the Feb. 6 sale of oil leases in the Chukchi Sea northwest of Alaska, a prime polar bear habitat. But oil drilling could put further stress on a polar bear population whose future is already in doubt.

The reason there is this strange house committee meeting -- the reason I'm thinking about all of this today -- it has to do with communication. Who stays silent when and why are of enormous importance to how things get done.

The issues of oil are so thick and crude in Washington it is impossible to believe that any decision could get made to change our direction...

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