A View From the Spill

note: I wrote this a few weeks into the spill, it was published on oped.com and lecanadian.com.

What’s wrong with the current oil spill situation? I’m not talking about the fact that it happened-or the sweeping devastation-or the response by BP-all valid but not where I want to go with this. What I want to discuss is the displaced aggression toward BP. You read right. I suppose it’s natural, but do protesters really believe that they will make an impact on a goliath corporate entity? If they continue to lose money, they will just file bankruptcy and be protected from their creditors-including the US government and business owners seeking restitution. Or maybe the US will just take it over adding an oil company to their car companies and banks.

Maybe the anger would be better directed at the Federal Government and its first delayed, now inadequate response.

The blast occurred 20 April and it took until 27 April for Salazar and Napolitano to call for an expanded investigation and for Obama Administration official to meet with officials from BP. A WEEK! It’s outrageous for the Federal Government to spend one full week going about their business, relying on BP for estimates of the leakage. BP, a company with a horrendous safety record operating with virtually no environmental safeguards.

Many of the Top Mineral Management Officials are holdovers from the Bush years. Most of the regulations-oil industry friendly-had been left in place from the Bush years. The MMS and NOAA are relying on BP for spill estimates. The Government declines offers of help from 14 countries, presumably because of the Jones Act of 1920 designed to support the US Merchant Marine Industry. Wouldn’t it have been well worth it to issue a waiver to suspend the act in the case of this environmental emergency? update:whether or not this was the original reason for refusal, they have now decided to accept help – over 2 months later!

Oil rigs today generally don’t cause Spills.  Barack Obama

Three weeks prior, Obama had called for expanded drilling off the Southeast Atlantic coast. This also included drilling new areas in the Eastern Gulf, closer than ever to the Florida coast. I have no intention of taking a stance on offshore drilling. Many are using this as a platform to push for alternative energy and there is nothing wrong with that. The issue I have is the polarity of views-either all or nothing. The American Way I suppose. What about a more realistic approach? Its wishful thinking to believe the US will ever dramatically reduce its need or use of oil; too much money is at stake.

Too many people with way too much power are in control. What we can push for is stringent guidelines and safeguards to protect human life and natural habitats; government regulations that exist and more importantly, are enforced.

What is it about the general public that still feels it lives in a world where their government or more outrageously, commerce and corporations tell the truth? History has repeatedly shown the contrary. Why aren’t we demanding truth and proof of truth? It could be the decades of having corporate ideals drilled into our conscience, seemingly dictating every minutia of our lives. Now, so unstoppable we are lost without our electronic pacifiers; our iPhone, our Droid continually infiltrating our conscience, overloading our brains with unimportant details, making it nearly impossible for anything of substance to stand a chance.

BP is really just doing its job.  It’s out there, fucking shit up for thousands of people, ruining unique habitats and getting away with it.

We as the American People have as much or more blood on our hands than anyone else. We continue to vote for (or not vote period) the criminal, corporate takeover of our country. But really, does that matter? Who truly, really believes their vote is counted or tallied up? We are taught that, hell until 2000 it even seemed like the People had a voice. But I do not see how anyone can think that their vote is taken seriously. Or at least not have a little nagging feeling that it is possible that many of the candidates and the voting process itself is a sham?

Apparently us Americans have more important things to do and will continue to allow corporate interests to dictate our life and liberty.


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