The Gulf - Four Years Later.

The Gulf - Four Years Later.

This past Sunday was the fourth anniversary of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Despite what we've heard from BP, the wildlife, the environment, and the residents of the Gulf are still dealing with the effects of that massive oil spill. A new report from the National Wildlife Federation found that many animal species are still struggling to recover from the 2010 disaster, including Bottlenose dolphins, Bluefin Tuna, sea turtles, and many others.

Residents who live near the spill, and those who worked in clean-up efforts say that they're still dealing with skin boils, respiratory illness, and depression. Many coastal environments that were once home to birds and wildlife are now just stretches of barren land and dead mangroves. And, just a couple weeks ago, Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials discovered more than 350 tar balls on the beaches of Escambia County.

The oil isn't gone. The environment isn't restored. Residents' lives aren't back to so-called “normal.” Yet, BP continues to claim that they fixed the Gulf and reports that show otherwise are just “political advocacy – not science.” The fact is, there was no way to completely clean up the 210 millions of gallons of oil that spilled in the Gulf, and there's no way to bring back the millions of plants and animals that died as a result of that spill.

We should have learned our lesson from earlier oil disasters – like the Exxon Valdez in Alaska – but instead, even after these massive events, we just keep drilling for toxic sludge. Four years after the BP spill, we're still repeating the same mistakes. We can only hope that there won't be a bigger, more deadly disaster before we finally end our addiction to fossil fuels.

Comments

Kend's picture
Kend 19 weeks 8 hours ago
#1

You could just approve the keystone pipeline and stop drilling in the gulf. It would also stop 800,000 barrels a day that is being shipped through the gulf from Venusaula. Mandatory double hull tankers wouldn't be a bad idea either.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 19 weeks 7 hours ago
#2

Kend -- Are you implying that BP says they only need the profit from the XL pipeline? BP doesn't want more profit from drilling in the gulf?

Willie W's picture
Willie W 19 weeks 7 hours ago
#3

I think the lesson here is that humans can't be trusted. The best laid plans would work except that corporations who agree to rules to get permission will ignore those same rules if the risks look manageable and can be concealed. Increased production vrs possible fines. It's people that screw things up. Nothing wrong with the plans.

BMetcalfe's picture
BMetcalfe 19 weeks 6 hours ago
#4

Had it been only oil, it would have been bad enough...

I think it's time we stop allowing them to use dispersants to contain any future catastrophes. If we're stupid enough to allow them to continue to drill and ultimately ruin our oceans, our aquifers, our famland, and our neighborhoods, the least they can do is not further poison us with the terrible dispersants - the contents of which we have no right-to-know.

It's as bad as when our military personnel come down with cancers from chemicals; their VA and private oncologists are not allowed to know what kinds of chemicals they came in contact with so they can be treated better and faster and perhaps save their lives.

We can only guess what the youngsters and children born since the BP Gulf Disaster will eventually contract during their lifetimes, and the vast cost of treatments for them, with little if any success.
We need to stop drilling altogether, but the greed that runs this world economy will never allow it. How sad...

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 19 weeks 4 hours ago
#5

I've heard it said - by an environmentalist authority whose name and title I don't remember - that it's better to drill here where there are regulations than in another part of the world where there are none. If so, we have to give BP holy hell so it'd be that way. We shouldn't drill anywhere, of course but develop renewables and clean sources.

We need to diversify the economy of the gulf coast, maybe with some green energy production. The people of that region have a lost dog, suck ass loyalty to the oil conglomerates. No matter how much they are crapped on by them that loyalty is unflagging. I think those oil conglomorates probably sabotaged and undermined the attempts to develop the green and clean that'd been recently undertaken.

Happy Earth Day, everybody.

Kend's picture
Kend 19 weeks 3 hours ago
#6

Mark what loyalty to oil conglomerates. It has taken longer to approve a pipeline then it did for the US to enter, win, and return from the second world war. The only loyalty is to the extremely well funded enviromental groups.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 19 weeks 3 hours ago
#7

Mark Saulys ~ Happy Earth Day to you too!!!

Kend ~ I only have one thing to add to what Mark Saulys said:

The Hemp Solution

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 18 weeks 6 days ago
#8

Kend -- How about the loyalty of the govt regulators? BP fills out the regulatory forms in pencil and the govt agents write over it in ink.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 18 weeks 5 days ago
#9

Kend, they may take a hundred years, they will not approve the pipeline because the informed, educated electorate will not accept it.

Loyalty to oil conglomerates is on the gulf coast. I told you you gotta stay sober.

geonomist's picture
geonomist 15 weeks 1 hour ago
#10

How do corporations get away with it? Because government was not set up to defend your rights to a healthy environment. Government was set up to limit the liability of businessmen when something goes wrong after they tried to make a buck by putting nature, worker, and consumer at risk. Look at the history of politics. The laws that limit liability are centuries older than the laws that “protect” the environment.

How can we get government to befriend citizens instead of lobbyists? One key reform is restrict the power to tax. Don’t let politicians tax anything they want. Limit them to taxing infringements such as pollution. Let them use taxes and fees, etc, to recover common wealth — such as the worth of Earth — and to leave our private wealth alone.

Worried about no longer taxing the rich? Don’t. First, we don’t really accomplish much of that anyway. Second, if we recover our common wealth upstream, then there won’t be any undue fortunes downstream to long to tax.

Once government can’t tax anything, and as long as politicians want to raise revenue, then they’d have to capture the same natural values that are now being captured by the oil companies. Once oil companies are no longer filthy and unduly enormously wealthy, they won’t be able to pay government to do their bidding — and limited liability could be severely curtailed.

Then, when businessmen have their own incomes on the line, they won’t be so cavalier about putting everyone else at risk. Industrial “accidents” would become as rare as a misplayed note at a symphonic concert. Industry should not be sloppy; it could become a thing of beauty — once deprived of free and easy limited liability. More at Progress.org.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 14 weeks 3 days ago
#11

What is wrong with the tax structure from the new deal to the moment Reagan was sworn into office?

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann seeks out interesting subjects from such disparate outposts of curiosity that you have to wonder whether or not he uncovered them or they selected him."
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, producer, and environmental activist
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Never one to shy away from the truth, Thom Hartmann’s collected works are inspiring, wise, and compelling. His work lights the way to a better America."
Van Jones, cofounder of RebuildTheDream.com and author of The Green Collar Economy