Article Tools

Already the companies are positioning themselves to avoid responsibility. There is no level too low, remember Exxon Valdez.

In horror movies, when some person enters a dark room and turns on the lights, thousands of roaches’ dash for the cover of darkness and hide in the shadows hoping to avoid discovery.  Ironically, while watching the hearings on what happened, and who was ultimately responsible for the largest oil spill in America, my mind wandered to that scene in the horror movie.  The audacious behavior of the executives of the various companies involved in the day-to-day running and construction of the Deep-water oil rig and their rehearsed speeches of how their company, was the only company that was completely within or exceeding government regulations was sickening.  The survivors on the rig were given urine testing, instead of help and consolation in their hour of need.  The companies involved were looking for a scapegoat, right from the moment of the accident!

 

The president can fire various government officials as a symbol, he wants to resolve this problem, and never again allow such a situation exist.  In the eyes of the American public, it is a dog and pony show!  Companies around the world are doing deep water drilling, and the truth is out, no one knows how to stop a blowout when it is a mile under the sea.  To make matters worse the government has allowed BP to use dispersants in quantities never before tried.  Exxon Valdez used dispersants, and people have died, and are still dying twenty years later, from cancers related to direct or indirect contact with oil dispersants, and use on a much smaller scale.

 

There needs to be an immediate halt to deep water drilling until proven safety measures have been invented to handle the unthinkable, another blowout.  There also needs to be some action taken by our legislature to circumvent the Bush Supreme Court, who in their infinite wisdom excused the punitive damages owed to the people of Prince William Sound.  These big oil companies have hundreds of lawyers on retainer, who at this very minute are exploring ways not to pay for the damage done.

 

Remember Exxon Valdez, although Exxon spent some months cleaning up the spill, in as cheap a manor as would look good for world news cameras, they ultimately never cleaned up their spill.  Remember, Exxon spent almost twenty years appealing against the five billion dollar punitive damage suit.  They did so by spending a half a billion dollars in legal fees to keep their appeals going until the US Supreme Court, comprised primarily of President Bush appointees, reduced the punitive damage to a half a million dollars, down from five billion dollars leveled against them at the first trial.  The fishing companies and tourist companies put out of business from the spill, were certainly not made whole again.  Exxon, the richest corporation in the world, who could have paid the five billion and not at any time felt a dent in their profits, instead fought every inch of the way to pay next to nothing, and the Prince William Sound after twenty years, is still polluted with crude oil.

 

Remember the hard lessons learned from the Exxon Valdez experience, and petition our legislators not to let such a travesty happen again.  The president can give speeches until he is blue in the face.  What we need is hard and fast laws that protect the American people from the corporate “Rope-a-dope.”  Companies using their lawyers to avoid paying the billions of dollars, and avoiding the commitment of the necessary amount of years it will take to make the Gulf Coast viable again.  The oil companies are as slippery as their product.  Our leaders must hold their feet to the fire.  No appeals, just action and more action must be the verdict.  If they do not like their responsibilities, then shut them down and divide their assets to aid the cleaning effort.  “All the king’s men can never put HUMPTY DUMPTY together again.”  There will be destruction on a scale that will be unimaginable, changing forever life on the coast, and how do you put a price on such devastation?