Grand Forks Herald: Double Standard For Oil Is Ok
North Dakota’s old media is finally weighing in on the controversy over partisan hack US Attorney Tim Purdon prosecuting oil companies over two dozen dead birds found over the course of two months. At the Grand Forks Herald, Tom Dennis points out that there is a double standard in prosecuting these oil companies for a small number of dead birds while leaving wind turbines, which slaughter far more birds, unprosecuted but then says that he’s fine with the double standard.
“Rightly or wrongly, society has prioritized wind power development in an effort to cut dependence on fossil fuels,” writes Dennis. He even uses this ridiculous metaphor to make his point:
For example, if you kill a cat by directing your dogs to attack it, you’re likely to be charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, as happened to a Illinois man in June. Meanwhile, animal shelters “put down” four million cats and dogs a year. Why is one killing illegal while the other is common in every city and town in America? Because our society has decided that the killing of animals should be done under controlled and humane conditions. That’s why.
LIkewise, preventing the deaths of birds in oil waste pits is “easy and cheap,” said Rob Lee, a former lead bird-kills investigator for the Fish and Wildlife Service, in a 2009 interview. It only involves putting nets over the waste pits and oil tanks; and for oil companies, society has deemed that a reasonable expense.
But wind turbines are something else again (as are cats and glass-sided skyscrapers, two other giant sources of bird deaths).
So, if I’m getting this right, oil companies are murdering birds on purpose whereas wind turbines are merely euthanizing them or something. And it seems Dennis thinks this metaphor makes sense because wind mills are good, in his estimation, where as fossil fuels are bad.
Which is ludicrous.
What’s more frustrating that Dennis’ unfair double standard is the fact that he leaves unmentioned Tim Purdon’s obvious political agenda. The guy was a partisan Democrat operative – a sitting member of the Democrat National Committee – before being appointed as the state’s US Attorney by President Obama. It is unprecedented in the history of this country to appoint a partisan official from one of the political positions to the non-partisan position of US Attorney. His wife has also lobbied on behalf of one of the largest environmental activist groups in the nation.
By the way, Purdon has scheduled a training seminar for North Dakota law enforcement about environmental laws for the same day as these oil companies are to appear in court. And we’re not supposed to believe that this is a coordinated, political assault?
All that, in the context of the Obama administration’s obvious hostilities toward oil in general, are pertinent to this discussion. But they’re obviously inconvenient for Dennis’ argument, so he leaves them out.
The bottom line of this issue is that two dozen dead ducks over the course of nearly two months is a statistically insignificant number of deaths not worthy of prosecution. Or, at the very least, if it’s going to be worthy of prosecution then we should apply the same standard to everyone who kills ducks from professional truckers to wind mills.Tags: Grand Forks Herald, North Dakota News, oil, tim purdon, tom dennis