Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Oil Spill

The Gulf Coast oil spill is one of the saddest things that has happened in our country in a long time. The impact is exponential, from the loss of life to the loss of livelihood for those who make their livings in this area.

BP screwed up, big time, and they know it. I don't know what they could have done to prevent this but their cohorts at the other oil companies are making haste to distance themselves from their errant brethren. Makes one wonder, though, if the "other guys" are just breathing easy, thankful that it's not them on the hot seat.

Of course it had to become political. Previous supporters of President Obama are calling him out, a la George W. Bush and Katrina, saying he's a bit late with his figuring out "whose ass to kick" (the president's words).

I'm no Obama fan but really, folks, what did/do we expect him to do? He didn't cause this. And what he has done thus far is mostly ceremonial. Do you think BP would have just said, "Nah, we're not going to take responsibility for this" if the prez had not gone on national TV and then summoned them all to the White House?

Come on! Who else would BE responsible?! They've already spent zillions trying to contain it and doing damage control. (Although their higher-ups, talking about "wanting my life back" and "the small people," could use some lessons in decorum).

As I said, I don't understand it all, other than I know it's sad and it's tragic. When I see the footage of the birds, fish and other wildlife being affected, it breaks my heart. Add to that the folks who live down there and make their livings from the ocean and there's no questioning we've got one collossal mess on our hands. There are probably many lessons to be learned here, even though I don't begin to know what they all might be.

My good friend Bob, who lives in Pensacola, has had some great posts on this lately and he has a much better handle on it than I do. I've enjoyed reading his first-hand accounts of what's happening in his seaside hometown as the oil makes its way to the beaches. If you're looking for some common sense reasoning amidst the bull you're hearing from a lot of the news sources, I would highly recommend a visit to his excellent blog which you can access by clicking on the first of this paragraph or at HELICOPTER PILOT in the right margin of my blog.

1 comment:

Bob Barbanes: said...

Thank you, Bob, for the kind words.

You are absolutely right. When it comes to "doing something" about this leak, I believe that people are doing all they *can* do. There simply is no easy solution to this mess.

When the media goes looking for a story, by God they're going to get one. And the story they wanted to get was black goo washing up on the gulf coast beaches. That was, I believe, their agenda from the beginning, and is their angle still. But it didn't quite work out that way.

Before the oil came ashore here in Florida, it "backed up" and soaked into the marshes that border the Mississippi River south of New Orleans. Thus, Louisiana got it before (and worse than) we did.

When it finally arrived, it started off small. But as time passes, more and more oil (in various forms) washes up. Ironically, it is good in some places, worse in others. Our local weatherman sounded pretty surprised the other night when he reported a *lot* of people swimming at Pensacola Beach, which was having a good day.

But we will have good days, and we will have bad days. Cleanup crews will walk these beaches for a long time to come, even after BP gets that well capped. With any luck, it won't be *too* bad for *too* long at any given time.

Hopefully, BP will get the relief well(s) drilled and finally kill the one that's blown-out. But the damage is done. Cleanup is going to take a while. Perhaps years.

The question is: Where do we go from here? Drill domestically, with the environmental risks that implies? Or suck up everyone *else's* oil first, accepting that risk to our national security (or so they say)?

America is at an interesting crossroads.