Dying for oil... in America posted by Rick at 6:37 PM
Americans don't have to go to Iraq or Afghanistan to die for oil. All they have to do is be in the wrong hospital at the wrong time.
The Hattiesburg Americanreported Sunday that two hospitals and several community water systems had their power rerstoration delayed by 24 hours - because the White House ordered that top priority be given to a pipeline carrying oil to the Northeast.
"I considered it a presidential directive to get those pipelines operating," said Jim Compton, general manager of the South Mississippi Electric Power Association - which distributes power that rural electric cooperatives sell to consumers and businesses.
"I reluctantly agreed to pull half our transmission line crews off other projects and made getting the transmission lines to the Collins substations a priority," Compton said. "Our people were told to work until it was done.
"They did it in 16 hours, and I consider the effort unprecedented."
The orders actually came from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, according to the report.
Dan Jordan, manager of Southern Pines Electric Power Association, said Vice President Dick Cheney's office called and left voice mails twice shortly after the storm struck, saying the Collins substations needed power restored immediately.
Jordan dated the first call the night of Aug. 30 and the second call the morning of Aug. 31. Southern Pines supplies electricity to the substation that powers the Colonial pipeline.
Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Mike Callahan said the U.S. Department of Energy called him on Aug. 31. Callahan said department officials said opening the fuel line was a national priority.
Cheney's office referred calls about the pipeline to the Department of Homeland Security. Calls there were referred to Kirk Whitworth, who would not take a telephone message and required questions in the form of an e-mail.
Business as usual in the corporate White House. What's more important than American lives? In a word: oil.