We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

"The System is Incestuous"

by Zygmunt Plater Wednesday, Jul. 14, 2010 at 1:40 AM
mbatko@yahoo.com

"We have a two-po9le system with corporations that direct the economy and authorities that should protect us from market failure. The corporations hire people who come from the government and the government hires people from the corporations..."

“THE SYSTEM IS INCESTUOUS”

Complacency, secret agreements and negligence prevent genuine security mechanisms in the US, says legal expert Zygmunt Plater. Zygmunt Plater, 66, professor of law at Boston University, has specialized in environmental law. After the “Exxon Valdez” tanker disaster in Alaska, he directed the Legal Task Force that presented legal recommendations for over two years.

[This interview with Zygmunt Plater is translated from the German in: Tagesanzeiger 6/17/2010 on the Internet
http://www.taz.de/1/zukunft/umwelt/artikel/1/das-system-ist-inzestuoes/]


Taz: Mr. Plater, twenty years ago you chaired the legal investigatory commission after the oil disaster with the “Exxon Valdez” in Alaska. What do you recommend in seeing the new oil disaster in the Gulf?

Zygmunt Plater: Frustration obtrudes, above all because the lessons from the “Exxon Valdez” formulated in our recommendations have been ignored.

What should have been done?

Both the oil corporation and the government should have done risk management. Emergency planning should have been modernized since a certain risk is unavoidable. Both did not happen.

Where is the opposition?

We have a two-pole system: with corporations that direct the economy and authorities that should protect us from market failure. This system is incestuous by nature. Corporations hire people who come from the government and the government hires people from the corporations. A third unit, the public, is missing. Fishers can residents cannot join the conversation.

Don’t the experts know the dangers?

This very complex and very risky mega-system is characterized by complacency, secret agreements and negligence. Human nature represses the negative. That is a dangerous combination when you have a mega-system. Complacency means refusing genuine security mechanisms because the government is not vigilant and corporations are guided by short-term profit interests.

How can the public as the third unit understand the subtleties of oil technologies?

In Alaska we recommended a structure, the Regional Citizens Oversight Council, which was codified in the 1990 Oil Pollution law despite the opposition of lobbyists. Residents track the oil production and transportation system and evaluate the data of businesses. Authorities sit on this council. This is an efficient monitoring mechanism. Unfortunately the law is only in force for Alaska.

What would have been the reactions if the accident had occurred in another part of the energy sector like nuclear powerplants.

We take nuclear energy more seriously. We seem to know its dreadful potential. On the other hand, oil and gas are interwoven in our society, our cars and our politics. In the last years we had oil and gas presidents and vice-presidents.

In the Gulf, BP is the cause of the catastrophe and at the same time that institution in which all rescue operations converge. Is this the only way?

This also happened in Alaska and is somewhat unavoidable. Industry has capital and resources that can be used at any time. The government does not have this. At the moment the government has declared the dispersant Coexit dangerous and inefficient. Nevertheless BP continues to use it. This would be unthinkable in Germany. But in the US we are cowboys.

How do you explain this mentality?

Considering authorities as annoying is part of the culture of American industry. Transferring authority for issuing directives to a government agency is regarded as an outrage.

Do you want a stronger government?

America cultivates the antiquated idea that a government is not really necessary and therefore is the enemy. In the Gulf, it is clear we need a government that is not only in league with industry. We need a government that regulates. That is not communism.

After a 19-year legal battle, the victims of the “Exxon Valdex” received ridiculously small compensations in 2009. Does this fate now threaten the residents and fishers of the Gulf?

The political context is different today. In 1990 the Bush senior administration was not at all serious in this matter. The Obama administration is serious. In addition legal changes are occurring. The people in the Gulf will be better compensated, assuming BP does not do bankrupt.

RELATED LINKS:

BP Played Central Role in Botched Containment of 1989 Exxon Valdez Disaster

The BP oil spill is the worst to hit the United States since the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989. The devastation in the Gulf Coast has renewed attention on BP’s key role in the botched containment of Exxon Valdez. We speak to Zygmunt Plater, an environmental law professor at Boston College who headed the legal team for the state-appointed Alaska Oil Spill Commission that investigated the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/26/bp_played_central_role_in_botched
Countdown: Dr.Riki Ott alleges BP engaged in massive cover-up to

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wrQCY76fps
How Corporations got so powerful with Riki Ott
movetoamend.org wilpf.org ultimatecivis.org Part II How Corporations Got So Powerful, and how the courts have always been complicit in handing ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tqbl81EJhJE
VIDEO: You are not Authorized to See These Pictures of the Oil Spill, Citizen... Do Not Look!

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/07/you-are-not-authorized-to-see-these.html
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy