Ken Collins: Health trumps dollars
April 28, 2014
In the past few days, the good health of Americans got in a combination one-two punch.
Not a TKO by any means, but hopefully, the first of barrages to protect those who want a safe and healthy future. Corporate America and those who worship at the altar of the dollar and disregard the welfare of America's health will come back fighting. But the right side won a round.
First, let's talk GMO, or genetically modified organisms. Just the sound should creep you out. They're everywhere. But now in Vermont, GMOs hopefully will have to be labeled on all food products. Not banned, just labeled.
But most of the food producers in America say that's not necessary — no health issues, and it would cost too much. When you genetically modify something, how in the world do you know it might not be bad, soon or down the line? You don't. Mutations are genetically modified. GMOs can't be organic either.
Cost too much? Adding to the label would add about 4 to 10 cents. That's chump change when it comes to being able to make a choice on what you put into your body. Having a choice to buy or not to buy is all we're asking. And the biggest pro-GMO company? Monsanto. Enough said.
Now, let's talk KXL. President Obama put a further hold on what is the worst energy idea to come down the pike, especially from Canada. I like Canadians but hate their environmental record, especially outside Canada. I've seen their results in South America.
But Keystone is a trophy case of bad ideas. The number of jobs it will provide is grossly overstated, and even then, a lot will go to non-Americans. The price of oil will not drop at all because it's headed for the refineries in the Gulf that are mainly for overseas distribution.
China would love Keystone to go through our breadbasket and aquifers. Canada gets the money, China gets the oil and we get a lethal pipeline made from cheap foreign steel carrying extremely corrosive bitumen tarsands that are far more toxic than any other energy source from a company that has a terrible environmental track record.
Winnipeg just had a TransCanada pipeline explosion a few days ago. Arkansas had a tarsands blowout a few months ago that still isn't cleaned up. And the tarsands are coming to us because British Columbia said "take a hike" to TransCanada. And they're turning the Alberta Athabasca region into a hell on Earth. If we're to gamble on our health, water and air, let's keep it to fracking.
So, thank you Vermont. May you be the first of 50 states. And thank you Obama for at least delaying a horrible idea. These issues aren't left versus right, or liberal versus conservative. They are right versus wrong.