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Fight Over Baldwin Hills Oilfield

by Alex Walker Sunday, Sep. 07, 2008 at 6:28 PM
AlexCathy@aol.com

The two-square-mile Baldwin Hills Oil Field is the last large-scale undeveloped open space in South and West Los Angeles. The Oil Field has operated since 1924 and had almost played out. Now, Plains Exploration and Production Company (PXP) wants to drill up to 1,000 new wells.

The Fight Over the Baldwin Hills Oil Field
Visit Web Site at: www.baldwinhillsoil.org

Baldwin Hills, View Park, Windsor Hills, and Ladera Heights in Los Angeles, are some of the most prominent middle-class African-American neighborhoods in the United States. Blacks are more than 70% of Baldwin Hills' population. After Blacks began moving there in the 1960s, it was nicknamed the "Golden Ghetto" and the "Black Beverly Hills." It has been home to celebrities like Ray Charles, Nancy Wilson, Tina Turner and the late Los Angeles Mayor, Tom Bradley. Black Entertainment Television (BET) used the setting for the "Baldwin Hills" television show.

Plains Exploration and Production Company (PXP) based in (where else?) Houston, Texas wants to drill up to 1,000 new wells over the next 20 years. Next week there will be what is expected to be a contentious public hearing

Los Angeles County Planning Commission
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Hall of Administration,
Room 381B
500 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Corporate America is sending a message that for all the talk about "change! change! change!" from the one corporate party with two names, ain't nothing gonna change and it will be business as usual on January 20th.

State Sen. Ridley-Thomas and City Councilman Bernard Parks, both representing this area, are competing for an open seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Ridley-Thomas backed Obama early when most of California's prominent Black Democrats were backing Sen. Hillary Clinton. Blogger Ari L. Noonan wryly noted that Councilman Parks "lives within sniffing distance of the Baldwin Hills oil field." Parks has been embarrassed by the disclosure that he accepted a campaign contribution from PXP in his last campaign for mayor.

In the California State Assembly, this area is represented by Karen Bass, another big Obama supporter and the first African-American woman to serve as speaker of a state assembly in the history of the United States.

Two points.

First, this is exactly the sort of community all the Democratic and Republican hacks pretend to love whenever they rant and foam about the supposedly "forgotten" hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding, American middle class. Second, this specific community is second only to the Hyde Park section of Chicago as the heart of Barack Obama Country.

In 2001, California was plunged into an unprecedented energy crisis: rolling blackouts, soaring power bills, a panicked state government. Turned out the Golden State was being systematically ripped-off. Documents and audiotapes proved Houston-based Enron Corporation asked power companies to take plants offline - in order to make more money. In one taped phone call, an Enron employee celebrated the fact that a massive forest fire had shut down a transmission line:

ENRON EMPLOYEE 1: Yeah.
ENRON EMPLOYEE 2: Now, the magical word of the day is "Burn, baby, burn."
ENRON EMPLOYEE 1: What's happening?
ENRON EMPLOYEE 2: There's a fire under the core line. This will delay us from 45 to 2,100.
ENRON EMPLOYEE 1: Really. Burn, baby, burn!

When Michael Steele cried "Drill, Baby, Drill!" to the GOP faithful, maybe he wasn't thinking about Watts in 1965. Maybe he was thinking about Enron's battle cry in 2001.

Less than a decade later, thanks to the terrifying spike in oil prices, the energy greedheads and carbon pushers are trying to stampede Californians into accepting offshore oil drilling and new drilling in old wells even though all the experts agree this will have no impact on the global marketplace for oil. As I write this, the "Drill, Baby, Drill" crowd is pushing hard for offshore drilling in Santa Barbara, Long Beach, Monterey Bay, and even off Point Reyes (see www.environmentcalifornia.org).

And always, always, they try to divide us and rule us by playing off class, religious, and "racial" differences.

Will we let them get away with it?

(Read More At: cagreening.blogspot.com

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