Being a resident of California almost requires you to be some form of environmentalist and I certainly am one who is concerned about the environment and making sure we do what we can to protect it. But I also believe we need a level of realism in balancing the environment with the economy. Unless we plan to move into caves again we need to recognize that work and environment need to go hand in hand.
It is in this light that I find this ruling to be disturbing. Chevron was working to upgrade their equipment from the old 1930′s level of technology that was in place. In doing so they not only were working to make things cleaner and safer but were also providing jobs to 1,000 people.
But a radical environmental group decided that this was not enough, so they sued to stop Chevron. Having won the battle they now expect Chevron to keep paying the workers for doing no work while they work to try and satisfy the complaints of the environmentalists.
Again I am no fan of big oil and I do think we need cleaner air. But when you have radical groups like this (note, their own web site discusses their goals of ‘radical change’) things tend to get out of hand. Based on their statements here as well as stuff on their web site they seem to expect a company to pay workers for doing no work (IE Chevron) and to produce oil without any pollution (looking at what they expect Chevron to do as well as what they expected in other lawsuits).
With ideas like this you have to wonder if they live in the real world.