1/17/2005

Bush's Energy Secretary Pick...Another Exemplary Citizen

Jason Leopold of Common Dreams writes:
In the bizarro world that President Bush lives in, it pays-literally-to be a miserable failure, a criminal and a corporate con man. But one of the President's most outrageous decisions (besides naming Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General) has got to be choosing 66 year-old Sam Bodman to serve as Secretary of Energy. This is a guy who for a dozen years ran a Texas-based chemical company (Cabot) that spent years on the top five lists of the country's worst polluters..and was the fourth largest source of toxic emissions in Texas. Cabot is the world's largest producer of industrial carbon black, a byproduct of the oil refinery process. Bodman was part of the original working group that drafted legislation that then Gov. Bush signed into law that basically permitted Cabot and other companies to continue to emit the same level-and in some cases more-toxic emissions as they had been years earlier without so much as receiving a slap-on-the-wrist by then Gov. Bush.
Bodman's shoddy environmental record aside, he may also be complicit in one of Africa's deadliest wars. In October 2002, Bodman's former company came under fire when a United Nations Panel of Experts produced a report accusing the company, along with several other U.S. corporations, of helping to fuel the wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) while he ran Cabot by purchasing coltan from Congo during the conflict and illegally plundering the country's vast natural resources.

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