Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Big Oil too big for Arnold's "shared sacrifice"

Offshore oil drilling rigs are cities unto themselves.

The State of California is running on empty, and CA IOUs, as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger continues to demand a shredded social safety net, repeal of labor and environmental legislation, and sweeping privatization of public assets, from prisons to public parks, before signing a state budget.

In other words, he continues to demand "structural readjustment," like that which the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank impose on Africa, Latin America, and the rest of the Global South, in exchange for operating funds that will allow the State and those it cares for to live, until the next budget crisis.

Who is the Governor willing to include in what he calls "shared sacrifice"? Children who will go without health care, young pregnant women who will not receive counseling, working moms, students depending on state sponsored college scholarships, and people with disabilities, Alzheimer's, mental illness, and HIV/AIDS.

And who is to too big to sacrifice? Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Shell, Conoco-Pillips, and BP. The Governor and California Republicans adamantly insist that the oil and natural gas companies will pay no severance tax for the privilege of extracting oil and natural gas that belongs to Californians, even as the State goes $25 million deeper into high interest debt every day..

On KMEC 101.5M Radio-Mendocino, I spoke with Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico about proposals for an oil and gas severance tax in California, the only state in the union which charges none:

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