Joe Balash announces plan for offshore drilling to private investors, shamelessly bragging about how easy it is to accomplish while Trump is off creating distractions elsewhere.
March 22, 2019

We know Trump and the Republicans love putting people in charge of departments intent on destroying the very thing those departments are meant to protect. It's the Steve Bannon way. Never was that further in evidence than with the appointment of Andrew Wheeler to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.)

When discussing the candidates running for the 2020 Democratic nomination, a reporter asked Wheeler if if they were overstating the dire situation we're in regarding climate change. He answered "Yes, I think it is unreasonable. On the climate change it is an important issue, but we have to address it. We are addressing it. Most of the threats from climate change are 50 to 75 years out."

WELL, THEN! Don't worry, kids - Wheeler will be dead by then!

Stephanie Ruhle tore Wheeler's BS apart, citing all know...SCIENCE...that tells us otherwise.

Climate change is here, happening right now, like the historic record breaking flooding that ripped through the Midwest. You know when what happened? This week. Those floods were caused by suddenly warm weather combined with unusually high snow melt. Climate change is showing signs in Africa, as well, on a continent already dealing with the devastating effect of the heat crisis. Three nations there faced a devastating cyclone last week bringing 120 miles per hour winds, lashing rains and floods and landslide. NASA, NASA reports that the Thwaites glacier on Antarctica's western coast has contributed to about 4% of the world's rising sea levels. And just last month, scientists discovered an enormous underwater cavity that will likely speed up the glacier's decay. That cavity is ready for this two-thirds the size of Manhattan. A new study published last week found oceans have taken more than 100 billion tons of CO2 between 1994 and 2007. Oceans are soaking up carbon four times faster than they were in the 80s. This is not good. If the oceans slow their carbon i take, that'll leave more planet-warming carbon dioxide in the air, which only speeds up global warming. Let's not forget another report. That 2018 was the fourth warmest year ever recorded on planet Earth according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The same year, four catastrophic events added up to a total in $1 billion in damages.

Awwww, Steph. Don't be such a wet blanket. You know people who own big oil and gas companies will be looking out for our Sweet Mother Earth and all the critters that call it home, won't they? People with money and power can always be counted on to be benevolent, right?

Wait, what's that you say? A top official in the Department of Interior has revealed that the Trump Administration is about to issue a proposal to make large portions of the Atlantic Ocean available for oil and gas development? Yes. Yes, it's true, and we shouldn't be surprised.

The Trump administration is moving to permit a handful of private companies to start using seismic surveys in the Atlantic, a controversial practice in which air guns shoot loud blasts into ocean waters to identify oil deposits. Some scientific studies suggest that seismic surveys can harm or potentially kill marine creatures, including dolphins, whales, fish and zooplankton.

The seismic surveys could commence as early as this year, in coastal waters anywhere from Cape May, New Jersey, to Cape Canaveral, Florida, but first they require final approval from the interior department.

It should also not shock us to learn that the only people to whom the administration is listening are the small handful of fossil fuel industry leaders who would benefit from offshore drilling. Conservationists, Marine Biologists, Environmentalists, and local politicians up and down the East Coast from BOTH parties claim they are being completely ignored in their entreaties against this venture.

What feels surprising — at least to me — is the unabashed glee the Interior Department official took in hiding behind Trump's distractions to get these deals made. It's all smoke and mirrors. Joe Balash, the assistant secretary for land and minerals management, told all these wealthy investors it was "thrilling" working for Trump's administration. He could get all his evil plans in place while Trump was off distracting the public and the media about John McCain and George Conway! Piece of cake!

“One of the things that I have found absolutely thrilling in working for this administration,” said Balash, “is the president has a knack for keeping the attention of the media and the public focused somewhere else while we do all the work that needs to be done on behalf of the American people.”

Isn't that grand? Just thrilling for all of them. Trump creates distractions, and cable news is off obsessing about the Conway marriage, John McCain's ghost, or trying to predict when the Mueller report will drop, and now, what is IN the Mueller report now that it HAS dropped. Ad nauseum. In the meantime, The Guardian report from which I am getting this information and giving it to you? It's been out for over a week. And not a peep about it in the media.

Shame on the television and cable news media for its complicity. How many hot takes on the latest candidate utterance do we need? How many analyses of Twitter feuds involving Agent Orange per day? These things don't need to be in such heavy rotation. Mix it up. Keep us better informed. Widen the lens. If not for us, then for the whales.

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