March 11, 2013

My Testimony at the South Portland City Council hearing on Tar Sands

Hi there.

My name is Asher Platts, I live in Portland.

I grew up in an oil family. I have been inside of the corporate offices of Exxon-Mobil in Dallas and Fort Worth. I grew up reading industry memos and publications. For that reason I want to thank all the oil executives for coming out here today to spread disinformation and thwart democracy.

Disinformation doesn't have to be false-- most of the information they presented tonight, like the stuff about the ambient temperature of the pipeline and so forth, while much if it may have been factually true, had nothing to do with tar sands. I thought that was clever of them to include so much irrelevant information to distract us from the issue at hand. Well done.

We hear a lot about how Portland Pipeline creates jobs here in South Portland. I happen to know that Portland Pipeline is hostile towards their union. I believe it's the USW. I think that's great. Because really-- why should workers get paid? I mean at all? And if you have workers falling off of the docks into freezing cold ocean water-- I say, "let the free market decide whether or not there is adequate guard rails."

Now one of the cardinal rules of business is that the opportunity for profit comes with risk-- to which I say, "so what?"

Let's remember what's really at stake here-- millions of dollars for a small number of corporate executives. I mean, are we going to let the health and safety of the people of Southern Maine stand in the way of THAT?

I know I personally would be glad to die of cancer so that an oil executive could make even one additional dollar. So long as they are able to turn a profit, I will know my untimely death will not have been in vain.

I would urge you to vote in favor of re-permitting these smoke stacks so that tar sands can be brought to South Portland from Canada. It's our duty as Americans to make sure that the people who have all the money always get exactly what they want, no matter how many people suffer because of it.

Thank you,
Asher Platts