Soccer Moms and Grandmoms Beware

March/06/2008 1:57AM
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There is an old saying in the Middle East. It goes something like this: my grandfather rode a camel, his son, my father drove a Benz, I have my own jet, my son will ride a camel.

Let me give you one example of how this can happen. BP(British Petroleum) a company I have absolutely no respect for whatsoever made a decision to spend $3.5 Billion on their 115 year old Whiting Indiana refinery. They got all the permits, Federal and State. Before they started construction, the Chicago Tribune ran a first page article that BP was going to dump tons of new sludge in Lake Michigan. No one stopped to get any facts. Mayor Daley and Senator Durbin saw the opportunity to grab air time and immediately said they would stop the project. Local groups began to get petitions. Congress held hearings. The project is stopped, maybe forever.

I had dinner one night with a man whose wife was leading one of the groups gathering petitions. I asked him these questions:

1. Do you know there is no sludge involved?

2. Did you know it’s about 2 pounds of incremental mercury per year and that every time it rains in this area 8-12 pounds of mercury go into the lake?

3. Do you know what the project was for? To be able to process Canadian tar sand crude, the most secure form of crude available to us for the future. Plus, if BP takes crude from Canada the pipelines from the gulf coast free up and more product and crude can be shipped to Chicago. Those pipelines run at nearly 100% now.

4. Do you realize this refinery is a blip on BP’s balance sheet and they can choose to close it tomorrow? If that were to happen what do you think the Chicago area will do for gasoline? If would be $10 in a week with lines.

He said, I don’t think my wife stopped to think about any of this, she just wanted to do the right thing for the environment. I want to do the right thing for the environment too. I suggest you stop and think beyond what you hear from the media and the blowhard politicians who put air time in front of judgment. Don’t destroy our future and the future of your family without taking time to get the facts. You won’t get them from the media or elected officials. You might have to dig them out.

Remember, my grandfather rode a horse, my Dad drove a Ford, I had a Corvette and rode on a company jet, my kids drive SUV’s, my grandkids may ride a horse.

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Comment (1)

  1. Ken says:

    I’m guessing your dinner with the Environmentalist’s turned out to be an early evening and suspect you won’t be having dinner with them anytime soon. I am a little confused on your opinion concerning BP? You said you have absolutely no respect for BP, but went on to say their project to spend $3.5b on a 115 year old refinery would free up pipeline capacity so more crude/products from the GC could reach the Chicago area. This project has been approved for funding by BP despite all of the environmentalist and opposition from the Illinois politicians. BP continues to move this project forward despite the opposition and increased costs, so what’s the beef with BP? Just curious as to why you would appose BP, a company who is trying to make sure your grandchildren don’t have to ride horses in the future?

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