Monday, May 20, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 11
Signup

Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on May 8th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 10 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 20, Issue 10

Plains pipeline gets away with it

Santa Barbara

By Rachel Altman

Let’s put this in perspective: The fine levied by Judge James Herman against Plains All-American Pipeline, based in Houston, for the 2015 Refugio Oil spill was $3.3 million. Plains’ revenue during the last quarter was $8.79 billion. That comes out to more than $4 million per hour. In one hour, Plains made more money than that measly fine. It’s like a parking ticket to you and me.

According to Judge Herman, the $3.3 million fine was the largest allowed by law, despite the $1.2 billion the prosecutors requested to cover losses for cleanup, fisheries, commercial and recreational boating, tourism, and the layoffs of oil workers due to shutting down the pipeline. Even the judge questioned whether the fine was enough to discourage future spills on our coastline. Do we wonder why oil companies and ancillary businesses continue to target Santa Barbara County, thinking they can get away with shoddy inspections or complete lack thereof—as was documented in the case against Plains, which allowed its pipeline to become so corroded that it split and leaked onto our precious coastline and waters?

Clearly, the law is on the side of the corporations, and as long as we are subject to the oligarchy that is running this country, the law will not change.

Plains has applied to build a new pipeline in Santa Barbara County. If you think we should trust them and our regulatory agencies to be accountable, think again.




Weekly Poll
How should the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District improve its A-G completion rates?

Align graduation requirements with university entrance requirements.
Ensure that students and parents are well aware of A-Gs and what they are before high school.
Improve support services and summer school classes for students who fall behind.
Completion rates are fine as is. Not everyone wants to go to a four-year college!

| Poll Results