Dec 1, 2015

Paul O'Neill Hailed Safe Water During Bush Administration

As the Scott Walker administration accelerates its maniacal and illegal targeting of clean water in Wisconsin, environmentalists can only report the facts and shake their heads in disbelief at this naked corruption—pathological and nihilistic.

Wisconsinites would do well to consider the parable of Paul O'Neill.

Paul O'Neill is a retired innovative American business executive who served as Chair and CEO of Alcoa Inc. [2014 sales of $23.9 billion and 59,000 employees (Lexis-Nexis)], from 1987 to 1999.

O'Neill was appointed U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (2001–2002) in the Bush-Cheney administration in a tumultuous tenure at odds with the trajectory of that disastrous administration.


As chronicled in The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill by Ron Suskind (Simon and Schuster, (2004)), O'Neill's penchant for using facts and evidence to make policy made him an outcast in the corrupt Bush-Cheney administration.

O'Neill turned his attention to Africa in a 2001 trip to the region in which he continued his crusade for developing "vibrant, self-sustaining local economies" (pp. 248, 249) with small investments in sanitary water systems and reliable electrical infrastructure.

O'Neill termed water (and electricity) the "prerequisites of civilization" without which the ravages of waterborne diseases are vectored into the human population ensuring misery, halting economic development and political stability.

George Stephanopoulos asked O'Neill how he would judge whether his Africa trip was a success. O'Neill replied in part his trip would be a success when people are "getting clean water," (p.257). All this took was "commitment," (pp 265-66).

O'Neill was ridiculed and laughed out of the administration as AIDS, war and corruption ravished the impoverished continent.

As Suskind writes, O'Neill was mystified by the administration wondering "[w]hat the hell was so important that water didn't make the cut?, (p.267)."

The same question could be asked of Scott Walker as Wisconsin Republicans are literally taking Wisconsin backwards and rewarding polluters who implement this insane project.

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