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Venezuela skimps, America gets polluted

By A. M. Mora y Leon, The American Thinker

30.11.04 | Awhile back, we reported on the Venezuelan state oil company's efforts to foist a toxic waste site on the state of New Jersey, a move that would force the state not only to clean it up at its own expense but also require it to become a bald eagle preserve. Very socialist and so politically correct. Savvy New Jersey officials took one look at that offer and decided they didn't want to get involved.

But despite what Venezuela's soft-focus fuzzy leftist public relations agency would tell us, ecologically unfriendly business practices are the norm for the state-oil company. Venezuelans in Venezuela remind us of the atrocious record this company has in its own country. And it's not just there.

News Today shows that a Venezuelan state-chartered tankers spilled about 425,000 gallons of heavy Venezuelan crude oil down the Delaware river Friday on its way to the Citgo refinery near Philadelphia. Public officials, among others, have spent the weekend cleaning that up, washing off about 400 drenched birds and mopping up the riverbanks. What's astonishing is Venezuela's leftwing public relations agency would never tell you that the company they champion is not using the safest ecologically friendly practices out there for oil transport. The Cyprus-flagged tanker the company hired was gashed in two places, possibly by an obstruction at the bottom of the river.

But as any eco-friendly environmentalist will tell you, laws were passed in the wake of a huge oil spill near Spain, requiring all ships to use double-hulled tankers by 2010 to prevent just these kinds of accidents. Venezuela's state-owned oil company obviously isn't jumping the gun on that environmental deadline. After all, one way or another, the state will eventually clean it up.

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