The United States Coast Guard apparently has trouble thinking outside the box, which is why they don’t see any option other than “BP leads this effort or… no one“. I don’t think the government should take over the project from BP. FAR from it. I don’t think the government should attempt to be part of the solution finding, for that matter. What I do think is that the government should force BP to play second in command to a team of independent scientists and engineers from around the world, who do not have profits as their main priority.
The role of the government should be to realize that BP cannot and will not put our environment first and that BP will not choose a less toxic solution if a more toxic solution seems easier or (especially) cheaper. The government should allow private industry, those not already in bed with the oil industry (which is what rules out the government), to call the shots. BP’s resources get used at the discretion of the independent team.
Now, just as I believe the power to govern should be in the hands of the states, and less so with the federal government, I also believe the clean up should be localized. Local areas have the knowledge and intricate understanding of their own areas that BP workers can never have, no matter where they take up residence temporarily. Local teams should assess their own needs, BP should write the checks weekly, and the locals take care of their own (with BP resources at their disposal of course).
To that end, my mother in law, Gayle was doing her own research. She began to wonder what the more wealthy areas like Boca Raton, FL were doing to prepare for oil reaching their shores. She’s a smart lady. She found this article, which describes a product created by a Boca Raton man:
Frank Pajaujis has found an ingenious solution to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is threatening to encroach onto our Florida shores.
Pajaujis has invented a biodegradable powder made from sugar cane fibers and infused with microbes. The granular mixture repels water and absorbs the oil, while the microbes actually ingest the oil. Within fifteen minutes, the ensuing reaction begins turning the sludge into humic material, or dirt. After nine weeks, the dirt begins to degrade naturally, which means that the material can be used in the area’s fragile ecosystems such as wetlands and beaches.
Here’s the company that manufactures the product. Here is a video about the product. It’s been in use for 20 years. This is why we should have independent teams working on this. Of course BP can’t take in and process all the information from all the people out there trying to tell them how to do it. If you localize the efforts though – I bet there are more than a few parishes in Louisiana who would try this. All it would take is one successful outcome and the word would spread like wildfire.
We must stop waiting for BP to save the day. They cannot and will not. We must allow private enterprise to rise up to this challenge. They will come through. The government’s role is to give them the chance, at BP’s expense, of course.