Behind The Scheme To Privatize NASA Elon Musk, The Downey Connection & Google Owners
By Steve Zeltzer
A full bore campaign is now being waged by the Obama administration to shutdown the US unionized space program and turn it over to “new age” speculators who want to build a new space program in a "regulation free zone" in Florida. A key player in this plan is billionaire and former owner of Paypal, Elon Musk.
Musk, has set up SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) and as a NYT journalist Kenneth Chang asks "Should the United States hire Elon Musk, at a cost of a few billion dollars, to run a taxi service for American astronauts?
In fact, the SpaceX operation like much that Musk and his backers from Google Larry Page and Sergey Brin want the US to give him $6 billion in the next five years to build a union free zone where he can avoid regulations, health and safety rules in building he new space empire. Already in a video that Musk puts out he uses the US Nasa operations to outline his take-over once the site is privatized. He has also leased a former Air Force site to to build his operation which is called Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. http://www.spacex.com/multimedia/videos.php?id=34
Government Funding For Privatization
According to Lew Jamieson of IAM Lodge 2061who works at the Space Center, Musk through his political connections from Florida to the White House has already got tens of millions of dollars in public tax funding for this privatization operation. In fact, Space Florida a public agency to encourage jobs in Florida has given millions of dollars to Space X and Musk according to Deb Spicer, Vice President of Communications. http://www.spaceflorida.gov
According to the Guardian of London, SpaceX will be given $1.6bn to supply the international space station with cargo using the Falcon 9 as transport, for example. Musk has also bought second hand scavenger parts and scoured Russia and other countries for scrap space material to build his new center in Florida. According to the NYT “SpaceX bought some rusty railroad cars that NASA had used to transport hydrogen and refurbished those, too.” This plan if pushed forward by the Obama administration will not only throw thousands of highly skilled mechanics and space workers out of their jobs but tens of thousands of other workers and their families out of their homes in South Florida who are dependent on the space flights, their launches and the local economy. For this reason an angry explosion against the Obama administration is gaining ground in Florida even within the AFL-CIO which organized to successfully support Obama in the elections. In February, the President of the IAM Buffenbarger also sent a letter to Obama asking him not to privatize the program but Obama is obviously listening to other voices. http://www.goiam.org/publications/pdfs/02_04_2010_LettertoPresidentObama_IPBuffenbarger.pdf
Musk, Page and Brin were major funders of the Obama election campaign and have been able to get billions of US tax dollars directed to their operations. http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/elon-musk.asp?cycle=0 http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/cars-transportation/tesla-funding-460609
It has also raised concerns among health and safety experts and designers who understand that the protection of the crews require extreme attention to backup equipment and the proper conditions to protect the survivability of the crew.
Musk has built some of the parts of his operation at a non-union factory close to the Los Angeles International Airport.
The growing concern about not only the protection of the government space program but the health and safety of the workers in the program is highlighted by another company owned by Musk, Page and Brin.
$500 Million DOE Loan For “Green” Electric Assembly Plant On Downey Toxic Dump Site
The Tesla Motors Inc. which is building "green" electric cars and is owned by Google owner Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Elon Musk and is also being funded by the US government.
With funding of a $465 million loan from the Department of Energy, Musk is who is also the CEO of Tesla Motors Inc. is planning to build a non-union electric auto assembly plant on the former NASA base and toxic dump site in Downey, California. Under privatization plans called “Brownfields” highly polluted military and industrial dump sites around the country have been turned over to private developers like IRG owner Stuart Lichter in Downey. These developers have failed to properly clean up the sites with the result of that workers and people in the community have continued to get sick from the toxic and radioactive materials on many of these sites. Lichter and the City of Downey are now finalizing an agreement to turn over part of the polluted Downey dump site to Musk and Tesla Motors Inc for them to build a government subsidized non-union assembly plant.
This comes after injured IATSE Downey Studio and a Kaiser SEIU UHW member have personally appealed to Musk and Ricardo Reyes, Communications Vice President not to build on the site. Apparently they have not got the message. http://blip.tv/file/3017234 http://blip.tv/file/3313879 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp1juQvw1Tc http://www.alternet.org/health/145508/downey_flu:_how_an_l.a._suburb_became_one_of_the_most_toxic_towns?page=entire
Injured Downey workers will be speaking out on Workers Memorial Day on April 29, 2010 at 4:15 PM next to the Downey Movie studio, Kaiser hospital and the proposed site of Elon Musk’s Tesla Motor’s “green” electric assembly plant.
Independence Park is located at 12334 Bellflower Blvd, Downey
For more information on the Downey action go to www.workersmemorialday.org