When thinking of oil companies and their executives, I am always reminded of the comic figure with dollar signs on his eyeballs. There are three types of organizations who are driven by a seemingly un-quenchable thirst for money. One of them, of course, is so called organized crime—next are large corporations such as BIG oil, and then there are our various levels of government. When it comes to tax-revenue, politicians are easily seduced by large corporations, to the point that even illegal activities are conveniently ignored. Our government’s inaction concerning unreasonably high gas prices (i.e. price gouging) when oil companies generate billions in profits, speaks for itself.
The carrot dangled in front of politicians’ noses by Enbridge and Kinder Morgan, who promise to create thousands of jobs through their oil pipeline venture, is nothing else than a time-bomb and also works as a litmus test of our elected leaders’ loyalty to the people of British Columbia. Although it is true that many jobs would be created for the construction of such a pipeline, once construction is finished, business is quickly scaled down to basic maintenance. How Enbridge runs their maintenance programs, however, has obviously caused many raised eyebrows following the news of ruptured pipelines and inadequately serviced equipment. Any amount of money generated through such a project could never pay for the damage done by an oil spill, and the horrifying effects on our beautiful B.C. environment and its people would be felt for many generations. Big Oil doesn’t worry about oil spills as cleanup cost is just a fraction of generated income. Last year BP, for example, was asked by the US government to pay another 7 billion dollars for the 2010 oil catastrophe in the gulf region. That same year BP made a whopping 27 billion dollars in profits alone. To those people who have lived through the horrors of an oil spill, one Bible verse must ring very true: “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10)
Mario C. Alleckna