When I lived in Dublin in the early 90’s and subsequent years of visitations through 2006, it always bugged me when the kids in the neighborhood ran outside to get their ice cream from the truck and shuck the wrappers on the street without a second thought. When I would say to them “Hey pick that up and throw it in the bin,” they would look at me as if I had just lost my mind. We, here, in America are so attuned to the “don’t litter” campaigns that most wouldn’t dream of dropping a candy wrapper on the ground. The guilt factor would kick in and we would shove the paper in our pocket until we saw a trash bin and toss it. The litter problem is not unique to Ireland, I saw it in England as well. Wait…isn’t that were BP has it’s world head quarters at 1 St. James’s Sq. London, SW1Y 4PD? Why yes it is. Mmmm….interesting.
Speaking of English Corporations, I and probably a few other Americans are not pleased with the speed BP is taking to cap the well head. The techniques they are using seem to be the techniques that were developed in the ’30’s when we first started to drill off our shores. Nothing is new. The drilling has become more scientific and efficient but the response to a catastrophic disaster is not even with the 21st century. It seems to me that if they are allowed to drill in deep water (a mile or more) they should have contingency plans for a disaster like what is unfolding at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Here’s what I know so far about this “littering” of pristine shoreline of Lousiana, Mississippi, Alabama soon Florida and may be the Carolinas:
- between 6 and 60 million gallons of crude has poured into the Gulf since the disaster 36 days ago;
- the oil will be there for ages;
- it will take (at last briefing) until August before the well is capped;
- BP tells us to “trust” them;
- regulators did not do their job.
- people in charge have no clue what to do.
OK, so in a nutshell, some politicians say that BP will compensate small business owners in full for lost business and livelihood. So if I am a shrimp fisherman and I usually make $50,000 a year, B.P. will pay me for lost revenue. Sounds fair, doesn’t? They made the mess and I am suffering for it. I’m not sure why the Republicans are still intransigent on lifting the cap of financial liability for the oil giant. I can only guess there will be blood before this “accident” is fully dealt with. (I think there’s a movie in this mess someplace)
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it with BP, Halliburton and the freakin’ Deep Water Horizon! IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE THAT KNOWS WHAT TO DO? Please submit your name and your solution to the Department of Interior. I echo Billy Nungesser the Plaquesmines Parish President, “They (BP and the government) have no clue…They have dropped the ball.” The best estimate is that the well will be capped by August? Really? Doesn’t the White House “get it?” Where is the fierce urgency of now, now? Seems to me the President can take over, show some outrage and focus and co-ordinate a response. Whatever was left after Katrina in Louisiana is slowly being destroyed by this criminal in-action. The crude that is seeping out of that hole at the bottom of the ocean equals 1 day of domestic usage. I guess we can ask ourselves is this OK? compared to the destruction of the small businesses of the Gulf? Not!
Throwing more oil on the waters is Sarah-I-quit-to-make-money-Palin, you remember her from her hit song “Drill Baby Drill,” went after President Obama’s efforts to address the Gulf disaster. She gave the impression that Obama was in bed with big oil questioning whether there’s “any connection” between Obama’s campaign’s contribution from oil companies kept him from “taking so doggone long to get in there, to dive in there, and grasp the complexity and the potential tragedy that we are seeing here in the Gulf of Mexico,” the Los Angeles Times reports. The facts are a bit different. The oil and gas industry donated $2.4 million to Palin’s running mate, Republican John McCain, for the 2008 election, and almost $900,000 to Obama, according to the Times, which cites data from the Center for Responsive Politics’ opensecrets.org website. Obama has actually told those immediately involved in the disaster to use every bit of government and spare nothing to cap this spill. Remember Palin was the beauty queen who supports drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife saying it “even safer than way offshore.” Please Ms Half-Term Governor Shut it-baby shut it.
You know and I know, this disaster will be with us for years to come. As we sit at home bemoaning the fact that the price of driving Johnny to his soccer game involves turning the Gulf of Mexico into the “Dead Sea” remember we have larger philosophical questions. Is it worth it? Is there another way?
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