Daily Archive for July 30th, 2011

Environmental Activist’s Address to the Court Makes US Government Fascism Naked to Everyone

Tim DeChristopher, an environmental activist who was sentenced to two years in prison for “disrupting” a Bureau of Land Management auction in 2008 that would’ve illegally granted mining rights in national parks.

His statement to the court before his sentencing is some of the most powerful commentary on corporate favoritism in the US Government:

In West Virginia, we’ve been extracting coal longer than anyone else. And after 150 years of making other people rich, West Virginia is almost dead last among the states in per capita income, education rates and life expectancy. And it’s not an anomaly. The areas with the richest fossil fuel resources, whether coal in West Virginia and Kentucky, or oil in Louisiana and Mississippi, are the areas with the lowest standards of living. In part, this is a necessity of the industry. The only way to convince someone to blow up their backyard or poison their water is to make sure they are so desperate that they have no other option. But it is also the nature of the economic model. Since fossil fuels are a limited resources, whoever controls access to that resource in the beginning gets to set all the terms. They set the terms for their workers, for the local communities, and apparently even for the regulatory agencies.

Unsurprisingly local residents are overwhelmingly in favor of his actions.

The speech is also a pretty thorough beat down of the US Attorney who prosecuted him. It’s a good read.