Thursday, May 05, 2005

Poetic Justice

From the Corvallis Gazette-Times:

Greenpeace charged with violating environmental law
Associated Press writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Lawyers selected a jury Monday that will decide whether Greenpeace and its contract ship were criminally negligent by failing to have the proper oil spill response paperwork during an anti-logging campaign.

The environmental activist group, the captain of the Arctic Sunrise and the ship's agent all are charged with misdemeanor criminal counts of operating a vessel without a spill contingency plan or proof of financial responsibility in case of a spill, as required by state law.

Opening statements were scheduled Tuesday in state District Court in the southeast Alaska town of Ketchikan. Because the case involves misdemeanor charges, it will be heard by only six jurors and two alternates.

"We feel good about the jury and feel confident they'll listen to all the evidence and render a fair verdict based on the evidence presented in court,'' said Greenpeace attorney Tom Wetterer.

State environmental regulators cited Greenpeace Inc., Arctic Sunrise Capt. Arne Sorensen and ship agent Willem Beekman last July for not filing a spill response plan or having a financial responsibility certificate. According to court documents, the ship was carrying more than 70,000 gallons of "petroleum products'' when it arrived in southeast Alaska for the protest campaign against logging in the Tongass National Forest.

How much? Seventy thousand gallons? And these are the guys who presume to
instruct *us* about treading lightly on Mother Nature?