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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Louisiana Oil - My Momma Said

An environmental tragedy like the British Petroleum (BP) oil drill fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico lends itself to cliche rationalizations. "What goes around comes around", might be one way of looking at the disaster.

In other words, people who told us this kind of an explosion would eventually happen, were right, after all. Should we be shocked and surprised?

Now, some people in Louisiana and British Petroleum are screaming for the US government to lead the fix and clean up of the environmental catastrophe caused by a methane gas explosion on the off shore oil drill.

Rig workers told BP's internal investigators that the deadly blowout of the oil well in the Gulf of Mexico was triggered by an escaped methane gas bubble that shot toward the surface. Now, oil is spewing into the Gulf uncontrollably from several busted pipes, with no end in sight. BP says Halliburton and other companies should help them to absorb the blame. Corporate finger pointing is now spilling over into a call for the government to fix the problem. It's like asking your mother to come out in the middle of a neighborhood fight to tell the bullies to leave you alone.

We are horrified by the impact of this oil spill on the Louisiana culture and commerce. Fishing is halted in many areas, while oil washes up in sensitive marshes where bird nests are protected.

Pictures of pelicans doused in oil are hard to watch.

Nonetheless, as difficult as this story is to look at every day, I cannot support those trying to drag the US government into taking the lead on the clean up and recovery of the mess. This BP and Halliburton problem is not ours to fix. These two companies supported by all those people who thought they could have it all - environment, high paying jobs, plenty of oil, commerce with tourism and fishing and their quaint Bayou culture. It's a cake with many layers, which is now melting into its own frosting due to the oil rig explosion.

Good people supported the BP off shore oil business because it was a fabulous second or third job for fishermen who subsidized their income by working in both industries. Local merchants enjoyed having the high paying jobs which came with the oil drilling business. It made good economic sense all around.

But, like mother said, "You can't have your cake and eat it too".

Louisiana people who did all they could to keep the government out of their oil business when the wells were drilled, should call on the same companies they supported to get this disastrous mess taken care of, with as little government involvement as possible.

Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal should be giving marching orders to BP and Halliburton executives to pay up, rather than railing on the US government to fix the problem. Jindal wants to build more barrier islands to hold back the oil spill. So, who will pay for new barrier islands? Tax payers, that's who. I thought Republicans, like Jindal, didn't want the government involved in their business.

Our US government should not be Superman to the rescue. Of course, I'd like to scoop up the oil myself, so it will stop harming wildlife, fishing, a way of life and polluting our environment. But, private sector companies caused this oil explosion by their own negligence, so they should fix it.

Tax payers should provide reasonable support to the Louisiana people.

Nonetheless, the US government should not take the lead in the clean up because, in so doing, the tax payers will give BP exactly what they want - corporate fat cats want their cake so they can eat it too.

I'm appaled by the Louisiana and Gulf of Mexico environmental oil disaster. Still, the spill is a horrible collateral problem caused by greedy corporate oil moguls and those who supported them in their quest for money.

When we did something wrong while growing up, our mother said, "Did you learn your lesson?".

This BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf is a very hard way to learn an environmental lesson.

Email response from Caroline in Virginia: Hi Julie,

An interesting article in the WashPost this weekend talked about the money BP has given to environmental groups. They have all benefited.

Yes, the Republicans and Tea-party nuts what a small federal government. Does this mean they will all go down to the Gulf and lend their support? As I read it, Jindal and the rest want to feds to fix things. You are correct that Halliburton, BP, TransOcean and the others must pay for the repairs and clean-ups. I don't want to hear about the huge profits they will have at the end of the year and the huge bonuses their executives will reap. What a mess!!! Caroline

Julie enjoyed reading Kait's comments posted on line.

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Blogger Kait said...

Julie, I had to think on this awhile. On the surface you are right of course.BP and Halliburton should absolutely clean it up, pay for the damaged environment,pay the fishermen who can't fish ad infinitum. However, just because a Governor of a state is a lying hypocritical idiot, doesn't mean we should let the wildlife and very fragile ecosystem suffer more than necessary.

The Federal Government should take a lead role in clean up, while BP, Halliburton and TransOcean pay the bill. To use your metaphor, just because an idiot gets in a bar fight doesn't mean we don't send the police to protect the rest of the patrons and the owner from damages.

After all is said and done though, to continue this appropriate metaphor, you put the idiots in jail, let them pay the fines, and NEVER let them in a bar again. This is where we tend to blow it. We keep letting the bullies go back in the bar, or in the water or where ever and do the same thing expecting different results. This is the very definition of insanity. America needs to stop these companies from ever putting our country in danger. Just like a drunk that says over and over "I'll never do it again," we need to have tough love and protect ourselves first. We can't allow some pretty words to make us forget the cost, emotional, environmental and monetary. This needs to be the tipping point where we all say NO MORE offshore drilling, Period, Full Stop.

But, punishing all of Louisiana for a governor who is completely in over his head, is heartless and I don't want the Federal Government to be heartless, especially when it comes to helping our citizens. I want the Government to be SMART, and they can be smart and helpful.

Finally, BP and Halliburton and TransOcean need to PAY for this, every penny the Federal Government pays out, every penny they promise, should be given by those Companies until it hurts too much to ever be cavalier about the safety of their businesses again.

Thanks for writing this and helping me see my own views more clearly. cheers, kait

5:41 AM  

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