I’m sure you have heard the bubbleheads of news as of late calling the BP oil disaster Obama’s Katrina. It’s everywhere. While the cut pipe continues to gush thousands of gallons even at a reduced force, the alarming amount of oil still spilling out at fifty days plus into this mess is still hard to comprehend! Once the leak is finally stopped, someone is going to get the bill for the cleanup and my bet is it isn’t going to be any of the ones who caused the problem in the first place.
Despite who is to blame, and for sure there will be plenty to go around, an ecological disaster of this proportion will affect the livelihoods and communities of millions. The Exxon Valdez spill, where merely a pittance of oil was spilled, is still not fully cleaned up. Despite most efforts by those in the news in the lower forty-eight states that it be forgotten, our American tendency is to move on from an issue once it is resolved. It is going to be hard to do this time around. And should the spill make its way into the North Atlantic Gulf Stream all bets are off in trying to guess when things will get back to any semblance of normal.
In the press the President seems to be the new fall guy. No surprise there. As long as the President continues to let others define who he is and what it is that he is doing, the issues may change but the press reporting will not. Conservatives and the fantasy news network will continue to grind out press and stories telling and showing us a President out of touch with the real ramifications of what has happened.
Never mentioning of course that the last President and his Vice President were key players in developing polices that allowed the drilling to go on as it did in the first place. In published reports (Huffington Post) BP was fully allowed by regulators to drill their well thousands of feet below where they were permitted to be drilling. And we have come to learn they were part and parcel associated with developing the procedures and safety guidelines that were used to monitor the drilling of their wells. Not a bad job if you can get it! Sadly when things go wrong though it’s the same old story, no one cares until someone gets hurt.
The last eight years of the Bush administration was a time where industry had a seat at the table at all procedures and policy development meetings. If you dug mines for coal and could show you didn’t need a safety regulation, you probably got away with having that procedure nixed. Any company that could show cause why they should not have to pay more pretty much got regulated into their permits that they didn’t have to pay more.
As we have come to find out, the American people who depend on government to set safety standards and actual limits as to what a company can and can not do are long gone. We have fox’s guarding hen houses everyday in the corporate world of health, food safety, oil, and airline and train safety. Finding the industry that has a clean track record is dam near impossible these days. You can thank those swinging doors of employment that allow regulators to go back and forth between jobs in the government and industry. Truly we get to reap what we sow…
(more to come)