There’s enough information about the Gulf Oil Spill to make your head spin, your heart heavy and your stomach turn. It’s been suggested more than once that I “stop reading so much about it”. And I would love to, but someone has to hold BP accountable, and since it’s obviously not going to be the government, then I guess it’s going to have to be us. The only way I know to do that is to get and stay informed, and to share the vital information BP tries to neatly sweep under the rug.
This morning I’m still reeling over the fact that BP has been left in charge of the oil spill – both assessing the damage and then making the decision regarding the best way to clean it up. We are well aware that BP got us into this situation through blatant lies and cutting corners. Why would we trust them to clean it up in a way that is sensitive to both our environment and our own health? The answer? We absolutely cannot. And yet, they are still running the “show”, and is it ever a show. My favorite quote this week is from this NPR article, outlining BP’s “restatement” about the spill size once it became impossible for them to continue that lie:
“Too much information is now in the hands of BP’s many lawyers, and too little is being disclosed to the public,” said Larry Schweiger. “The Gulf of Mexico is a crime scene, and the perpetrator cannot be left in charge of assessing the damage.”
Indeed. We have a lot of highly educated, well-trained talent in our country, in our world. We should assemble a team of scientists and engineers who are top experts in this field (and NOT on the payroll of any oil company) and put them at the top of the chain of command. BP should be forced to accept what this team finds, findings that are FULLY disclosed to the American people, and to implement the remedies this team outlines as the best and most appropriate for finally securing the leak and for cleaning the gulf. Basically, someone without profits as a motivating factor should be telling BP what to do, and BP should simply be writing checks and doing what they are told.
This CNN video alone should tell you that BP is either playing out its own agenda while paying mere lip service to the people of the United States or is grossly incompetent and cannot oversee this matter, or more likely, BOTH. I didn’t realize until a few days ago that the EPA “order” to BP to stop using the toxic chemical dispersant Corexit was merely a “suggestion” – you know, you guys should really stop using that stuff, unless you just think you can’t find anything better, that is. To the EPA, and to the rest of our elected officials – kindly I say, grow a pair. Somewhere along the way it seems BP earned a seat in our government. I’m not sure how they managed that but they are definitely there, with all the pull of a top Washington official. It’s time to impeach BP.
As the above video shows, hundreds of thousands of gallons of a much safer dispersant have been sitting in the Houston sun for over a week, waiting for BP to pick it up and use it, all the while BP is dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of highly toxic Corexit into our precious Gulf waters (see the last post about the problems with Corexit). Here’s the problem – people seem to want to believe that BP actually gives a damn about what happens to the Gulf, to the people, about cleaning up their mess. So let’s get this straight right now: BP cares about one thing: PROFITS. Period. Don’t get me wrong – I do not deny BP the desire or right to earn profits. Private enterprise exists to make money, and I have no problem with that. My problem is that you cannot allow an organization who created a problem the size of the Gulf oil spill in pursuit of profits to remain in charge of cleaning up that mess. They now have conflicting goals, and the goal of profits will ALWAYS come first.
We now KNOW that BP 1. will cut any corner to save a buck and 2. will lie right to our face even when everyone knows it’s a lie. And even our Coast Guard doesn’t appear to have authority over BP. Since when does BP control maritime law and the airspace overhead? According to the USCG, boaters cannot visit the area of the spill, which rules out a massive section of the Gulf of Mexico by the way, and private pilots cannot fly overhead. And the USCG says those are “BP’s orders”. If those last two sentences didn’t make you so mad you’d like to punch Tony Hayward in the throat (and kick at least ten government officials in the groin), then you had better re-read.
BP has indeed created a massive crime scene in our waters. And as it grows in size by the miles every day, BP tries harder to throw it’s shroud over the mess, grin and say: “Oh, it’s not that bad. The Gulf will clean up easily. There won’t be that much damage.” And it seems too many Americans and politicians sit there wide-eyed and dazed, staring at BP’s swinging pendulum, absent-mindedly nodding in agreement. This is your wake-up call, folks. Hear me snapping my fingers and pulling you out of the trance. Know that virtually every word out of the mouths of every BP executive is a colossal lie, told to placate you and to keep you off their backs.
We have to demand more. It’s time to remove BP from office. BP is not capable of replacing their profit goal with that of putting the health of the people and marine life first. And they shouldn’t be expected to do so. BP should be forced to hire independent consultants from the private sector (BP does NOT get to choose them – we do), and they should have ZERO influence over this team’s findings and recommendations. And I do NOT mean a mealy-mouth task force hastily put together by Obama, who apparently took more than 30 days to decide something needed to be done here. I do NOT mean more people from Washington, and I definitely don’t mean the EPA. I mean men and women with backbones, people with no personal agenda except to save our earth, marine life, our health, our fleeting precious resource that is clean water.