Sunday, January 20, 2008

Oil wealth fueling big dreams in Saudi Arabia.

The alarm bell sounded the end of the lunch break one November afternoon, and suddenly thousands of workers - on foot, on bicycles and in buses streamed in, seemingly from out of nowhere, and jolted the huge construction site to life. Amid a forest of cranes, towers and beams rising from the desert, more than 38,000 workers from China, India, Turkey and beyond have been toiling for two years in unforgiving conditions - often in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees - to complete one of the world's largest petrochemical plants in record time. By the end of the year, the massive city of steel at the edge of the Red Sea will take its place as a cog of globalization: Plastics produced at the plant will be used to make televisions in Japan, cell phones in China and thousands of other products to be sold in the United States and Europe. Construction cost at the plant, which spread over 8 square miles, have doubled to $10 billion because of shortages of materials and labor. The amount of steel being used is 10 times the weight of the Eiffel Tower. By Jad Mouawad, 2008, The New York Times.

I wonder if King Abdullah, the 83-year-old Saudi monarch, asked the environmental groups in Saudi Arabia for permission for the project? You know it's being built at the edge of the Red Sea, so there will be run off. I wonder if they have any environmentalist watchdogs that can file a law suit against the government? The environmental regulations has done the job in the U.S. In 1981, the U.S. had 324 refineries and today there are just 132 oil refineries, according to Oil and Gas Journal. Ask the green people, we don't need a petrochemical plant that will employ more than 38,000 workers and exports products to Japan, China, Europe and other parts of the world. We must pass legislation so our citizens can drive go carts to work and use florescent light bulbs. You know that the pollution will flow into California, that's the direction the weather patterns come from. Who is going to teach Saudi Arabia and those nations that follow Saudi's example, like Japan and China, a lesson? Maybe Green Peace can take their ship, with other green people, into the Red Sea and land on Saudi's beaches, naked, with signs like,"NO HAIR, CLEAN AIR." What do you think?

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