2,654 US troops are dead & 19,773 wounded & oil companies want to block prop 87 in Cali?
American oil companies' negative stance on legislation and funding directed at making our country less oil dependent over the last 30 plus years has netted companies like Standard and Gulf Oil billions of dollars in profits; but has also netted 2,654 American deaths between March of 2003, and September of 2006, who were fighting in Iraq for America's energy future.
"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both".
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Currently underway in California, there is a multimillion dollar campaign sponsored by America's big oil companies, directed at defeating Proposition 87. * Proposition 87 will direct $4 billion to reduce California's dependence on gasoline and diesel by 25% over the next 10 years. The effort will be funded by taxing oil producers anywhere from 1.6% to 6% depending on the price per barrel for oil extracted in California. If passed, the legislation also prohibits oil producers from passing along the tax to consumers. Prop 87 will reduce our use of oil by expanding the use of existing technologies, funding the development of improved and new technologies, and brings alternative fuel and energy technologies to the market faster.* (*.* - From the Proposition 87 Official Summary as prepared by California's Attorney General)
Unfortunately this is nothing new in American politics for America's big oil companies namely; Gulf Oil, Standard Oil, Murphy Oil, BP, Chevron-Texaco, Exxon-Mobil and Conoco-Phillips have attacked & denounced public funding on the federal, state and municipal levels for alternative fuel research since the 1970's. They have also attacked & denounced public funding for public/mass transportation projects since the 1970's. In fact, they have been against all funding and legislation introduced in Congress since the 70's which sought to help lessen America's dependence on oil which is currently our most relied upon energy resource. The American oil companies' negative stance on legislation and funding directed at making our country less oil dependent over the last 30 plus years has netted companies like Standard and Gulf Oil billions of dollars in profits; but has also netted 2,654 American deaths between March of 2003, and September of 2006, who were fighting in Iraq for America's energy future. And even as we have troops on the ground and in harm's way in Iraq right now as we type and read, the oil companies are once again trying to block legislation designed to decrease America's oil dependence as evidenced by their condemnation of Proposition 87 in California.
Judging from the upsurge in carnage instigated by Russia and China in oil rich hot spots around the globe since the early 1990's, it's no secret now that revenues derived from the oil fields in the mid-east are better used in American, Western European and Japanese hands rather than those of the Russians and Chinese, to insure a safer world for all. However, more care should be given by American oil companies in regards to home grown efforts to insure that America's dependence for said oil decreases instead of increases.
It's obvious now that the Russians and Chinese were trying to do the same thing in Iraq that they are trying to accomplish in Iran and Venezuela. Sadam Hussein was being controlled by Russian and Chinese interests in much the same way that the Iranian and Venezuelan Presidents are being controlled by the Kremlin and Beijing today. So sending troops to Iraq does make sense; especially when you consider what Russia & China are doing in Iran with respect to the nuclear weaponry issue. But that does not mean that America should allow our very own oil industry to exacerbate the conditions that have made necessary the deaths and harm that Americans are enduring in the mid-east by undermining legislation which seeks to help lessen America's dependence on foreign oil.
"How far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without"?
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Russia rules out UN sanctions against Iran
By Ron Popeski, Fri Aug 25, 1:09 PM ET
Russia rejected talk for now of sanctions against Iran and France warned on Friday against conflict with Tehran, raising doubts whether it will face swift penalties if nuclear work is not halted by an August 31 deadline.
Responding to an offer of economic incentives to stop enriching uranium, Iran hinted to six world powers on Tuesday it could rein in its program as a result of talks to implement the package -- but not as a precondition as they demand.
The reply seemed tailored to crack the brittle united front of four Western powers and Russia and China who agreed the U.N. deadline. The West sees Iran's nuclear drive as a looming threat to peace. Russia and China, key trade partners of Iran, do not.
"I know of no instances in world practice and previous experience in which sanctions have achieved their aim and proved effective," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told reporters during a trip to Russia's far east.
"Moreover, I believe that the question is not so serious at the moment for the U.N. Security Council or the group of six to consider any introduction of sanctions. Russia stands for further political and diplomatic efforts to settle the issue."
Ivanov is seen as close to President Vladimir Putin.
Washington has said the six powers will move quickly to adopt sanctions if Iran disregards the deadline. Britain, Germany and France have been less conclusive in public.
Russia and China, both trade partners of Iran, have been unwilling and could veto sanctions in the Council.
Underlining the confusion, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he expected new talks in days with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani "to get clarification (on Iran's response) and see how we can move the process forward."
Solana said Iran's reply, a document of more than 20 pages, contained "new elements" about which he would like to talk.
U.S., French and German leaders said Iran's 21-page response to the incentives offer was unsatisfactory because it did not specifically agree to stop purifying uranium. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are limited to power production.
Asked about Russia's rejection of sanctions for now, State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said there were several days before the U.N. deadline and a lot could happen. "This is diplomacy. We are going to be working together in consultation with them (Russia). The group (P5+1) will come together and we will make some decisions," said Gallegos.
French President Jacques Chirac, speaking after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris, said Iran's response was "ambiguous."
"For the moment, it (the Iranian response) is not satisfactory," French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said on RTL radio, but added it was important to avoid escalating conflict with Iran and the Muslim world.
"The worst thing would be to escalate into a confrontation (between the West and) Iran on the one hand, and the Muslim world with Iran. That would be the clash of civilizations that France today is practically alone in trying to avoid," he said.
U.S. and British forces that overthrew Iraq's Saddam Hussein in 2003 are now mired in an Islamist insurgency. Israel recently waged an inconclusive war with Lebanon's Hizbollah guerrillas. Both conflicts are widely seen to have strengthened Iran.
British U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said: "On Iran, I don't think I would expect very much imminently in the Council."
He told reporters in New York that the Council was awaiting a U.N. nuclear watchdog report due on August 31 that will certify whether Iran has stopped enrichment-related activity or not.
"Once we get that, we then need to discuss the way forward. But we need to give a measured consideration to what has been sent to us by Iran -- quite clearly something which is short of what the Council is looking for.
"So we need to think carefully about how we respond to that," he added, pointedly avoiding comment when asked whether London was working on a sanctions resolution.
Some analysts believe Arab and Muslim world anger over Washington's perceived slowness to curb Israel's anti-Hizbollah blitz, which killed mainly civilians, could erode support in the 15-member Security Council for a showdown with Iran.
Western leaders suspect Iran is making a disguised effort to build atom bombs, although most analysts believe Tehran remains 3-10 years away from mastering the requisite technology.
(Additional reporting by Mark Heinrich in Vienna, Anna Willard in Paris, Mark John in Brussels and Irwin Arieff at the United Nations)
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Iran abruptly postpones talks with EU
24 minutes ago September 6, 2006
Iran abruptly announced Wednesday that last-ditch talks on its disputed nuclear program were postponed, moving Tehran a step closer to U.N. sanctions after it defied a deadline to freeze uranium enrichment.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, said any sanctions must exclude military force, suggesting that Moscow was contemplating the possibility of sanctions but remained opposed to harsh and quick punishment.
The talks between Iranian nuclear envoy Ali Larijani and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana had been tentatively set for Wednesday in Vienna as a final attempt to see if common ground could be found to start negotiations between Iran and the six nations that have been trying to persuade Iran to limit its nuclear program.
But while Solana had been ready to fly to the Austrian capital at short notice, the talks had been left hanging by uncertainty over whether Larijani would come.
"We will not have the meeting today in Vienna," Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, the chief Iranian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, told The Associated Press. "Both sides are arranging (a meeting) for a couple of days later."
Instead, Iran's president proposed that he and President Bush hold a debate at the U.N. General Assembly later this month.
Solana's office in Brussels, Belgium, had no immediate comment. But although Soltanieh said the decision to postpone any meeting had been mutual, it appeared that Iranian reluctance to attend had scuttled the chance of talks Wednesday.
Russia, along with China, has steadfastly opposed efforts by the United States and other Western nations to bring sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. Washington says Tehran is seeking to build nuclear weapons; Tehran says its programs are for electricity generation. Lavrov said the U.N. Security Council's recent resolution on the issue holds out the possibility of further measures on Iran such as economic penalties, banning air travel or breaking diplomatic relations, but not the use of armed force.
"This article envisages measures to exert influence on a country that is not cooperating, including economic ones, but it is written unambiguously there that this excludes any kind of forceful measures of influence," ITAR-Tass quoted him as saying.
Lavrov spoke to reporters in Cape Town, South Africa, where he was accompanying President Vladimir Putin on a state visit.
U.S. and European diplomats have said they are focusing at first on low-level punishment such as travel bans on Iranian officials or a ban on the sale of dual-use technology, to win backing from Russia and China. More extreme sanctions would be a freeze on Iranian assets or a broader trade ban, but those would likely be opposed by Russia, China and perhaps others, particularly since the trade ban could cut off badly needed oil exports from Iran.
Iran defied an Aug. 31 deadline by the U.N. Security Council to freeze uranium enrichment. But the five permanent council members and Germany — the six powers attempting to entice Iran into negotiating on its nuclear program — had decided to hold off starting work on sanctions until the outcome of any talks between Solana and Larijani.
Senior negotiators of those six countries meet in Berlin on Thursday to plan strategy. Looking ahead to those talks, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried said he had no doubt "they will be very substantive and very serious." In Ankara, Turkey, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose visit to Tehran last week failed to budge the leadership on its refusal to give up enrichment, urged Iran "to do whatever it can to reassure the international community that indeed its intentions are peaceful."
Soltanieh said "a procedural matter" had led to the postponement, but offered no details. In Tehran, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said only the time and place of any meeting continued to be "under discussion by both sides."
Iran's unyielding stance appeared to be based on the calculation that sanctions will be opposed by Russia and China, both veto-wielding Security Council members that have major commercial ties with Iran. While skeptical that any new meeting between Solana and Larijani would yield success, the United States and key European allies Britain and France had agreed to wait for the result of any such talks in attempts to mollify Moscow and Beijing. In Beijing China's premier, Wen Jiabao, said that sanctions "may even prove counterproductive."
But U.S. officials on both sides of the Atlantic suggested the time had already come for punitive Security Council action. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in Washington that the Security Council had made clear in a resolution that it was prepared to vote for sanctions if Iran failed to meet the Aug. 31 deadline to suspend enrichment. And so, McCormack said Tuesday, the United States intended to proceed "down that pathway."
In Vienna, Gregory L. Schulte, chief U.S. delegate to the IAEA, accused Iran's leaders of making "a strategic decision to acquire nuclear weapons," adding: "The time has come for the Security Council to back international diplomacy with international sanctions." Iran insists it has a right to enrich for generation of nuclear power. But suspicions are growing it wants to develop the technology to enrich uranium to the weapons-grade level for the fissile core of nuclear warheads.
In a further sign of Tehran's defiance, Iran's parliament took the first step Tuesday toward blocking international inspection of the country's nuclear installations in case of U.N. sanctions. The measure would need approval by other bodies before it could take effect.
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