If this happened under the Bush Regime, you could have filed this under, “Nobody ever could have foreseen …”. Iraq, Katrina, Great Depression II are all examples of disasters that received that ridiculous verbal hand-waving in pointless attempts to deflect responsibility. The Deep Horizon oil well disaster would have fit in perfectly. Everybody knows that the Dirty Energy industry is called “dirty” for very good reasons. Oil spills happen more when people drill for that dirty fluid. It’s going to happen. The only question is, how often and how much?
In the immediate aftermath of the Deep Horizon oil well explosion last Tuesday, the giant dirty energy corporation BP assured everyone that they were going to cap the well at the bottom of the ocean and the threat to the environment would be minimized. Because drilling is much cleaner than the stupid public has been led to believe? Hardly, as it turns out. As events have unfolded, it appears that the well head at the ocean bottom is leaking out at the rate of 42,000 gallons per day. And if you think that volume isn’t noteworthy, I challenge you to dump 42,000 gallons of oil on your front yard and tell me what you think afterward.
In reality, the oil spill stretches across more than 1,800 square miles of Gulf of Mexico waters. As a result, the Coast Guard is trying to come up with plans to protect shorelines (if they can) and clean the oil slick up with BP’s help. BP is planning on lowering a dome to capture the oil on the ocean bottom. Unsurprisingly, it’s never been tested for the depth at which the leak is occurring – 5,000ft below the sea surface. Haven’t we all heard the virtues of mega-corporations, who altruistically ensure all their operations are completely safe?
Why would corporations need restrictive things like regulations, after all? In another unsurprising piece of news, BP was among a list of corporations that vigorously attacked a proposed rule issued by the Interior Department’s Minerals and Management Service that would have changed, get this, voluntary safety program audits to required audits once every three years. Gasp! The horror that a safety audit every three years might be drastically imposed on the poor, suffering drilling industry! What kind of socialists would even dream up such a business-killing proposition anyway?
The same folks who have noted that “there were 41 deaths and 302 injuries out of 1,443 incidents from 2001 to 2007”. The same folks who “issued 150 reports over incidents of non-compliant production and drilling operations and determined there was ‘no discernible improvement by industry over the past 7 years.'” Yeah, voluntary safety audits are sure taking care of all the problems, aren’t they?
Who’s going to get to pay the bill for this containment and clean up effort? Financially, the U.S. taxpayers, followed by local small businesses and tourism; physically, the environment. Wildlife Refuges, barrier islands and other coastal locations are under direct threat of this disaster. Ads run by BP continue to tout their “clean” way of conducting business.