Subject PRESIDENT BUSH'S LEAKY OIL BARGES Written 437 pm Feb 25, 1991 by christic in cdpch
Subject: PRESIDENT BUSH'S LEAKY OIL BARGES
Written 4:37 pm Feb 25, 1991 by christic in cdp:christic.news
PRESIDENT BUSH'S LEAKY OIL BARGES
Project Censored: Nomination for the "Ten Best Censored Stories of 1990"
When three of the most powerful political men in the United States have a
little business on the side that reeks of conflict of interest, you would
think the mass media would be interested. But you'd be wrong.
Common Cause Magazine examined a financial interest in a Houston- based
oil tank-barge business (Hollywood Holding) shared by President George Bush,
Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher, and Secretary of State James Baker
and found it deserved widespread media exposure for at least three reasons:
1) The Bush administration has proclaimed itself the environmental
administration; 2) the tank-barge industry is a major polluter of U.S.
waterways; 3) the company that manages the Bush- Mosbacher-Baker barges is
one of the largest tank-barge companies in the United States; collectively
its barges, which carry petroleum products, have spilled upwards of 200
times since 1980, government documents show.
The Common Cause Magazine research revealed that:
--President Bush invested $50,000 in the barge partnership Hollywood
L.P.G. 2 in 1978. He already has earned about $130,000 on his investment and
will continue to receive about $20,000 a year for the foreseeable future.
--Commerce Secretary Mosbacher, whose agency monitors U.S. waters for
pollution, has a 25-percent share in the 220-barge fleet of Hollywood
Holding which has been responsible for at least 200 oil spills between 1980
--Secretary Baker has invested $175,000 in Hollywood concerns since 1978.
More than half of the 24 barges Baker has invested in have polluted at least
once since 1980, according to Coast Guard documents.
Although they carry much smaller loads, tank-barges can cause more total
pollution than tankers since they pollute inland, in bodies of water that
are more fragile ecologically than the open sea. According to the most
recent Coast Guard information, tank barges spilled more than 4.3 million
gallons of oil and other hazardous substances during 1983 and 1984, compared
with 2.1 million gallons spilled by oil tankers during that time.
Congress is considering oil spill legislation that could require double
hulls in both tankers and tank barges. While barge interests argue that the
double-hull provision is economically infeasible and would result in only a
modest reduction in pollution, the Coast Guard says that an entirely
double-hulled fleet would reduce total barge pollution by 80 percent.
According to a press spokesperson in the Department of Transportation, the
Bush administration is not in favor of phasing out single-hulled vessels but
is in favor of further study.
President Bush is apparently aware that mass media exposure of his
tank-barge investment could be politically embarrassing. On April 10, 1989,
a little more than two weeks after the supertanker Exxon Valdez gushed oil
onto hundreds of square miles of Alaska's Prince William Sound, Bush put his
partnership interest into a qualified blind trust. This means it will not
appear on his future financial disclosure statements. Nonetheless, thanks to
the exhaustive investi-gation by Common Cause Magazine, it already is on the
record and now deserves mass media attention.
SOURCE: COMMON CAUSE MAGAZINE, Mar/Apr 1990, "Three Men and a Barge," by
Teresa Riordan, p 29-33.
End of text from cdp:christic.news
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