Of all the images I've seen of the Louisiana coastline and the Gulf so far, this image by Gerald Herbert for the Associated Press drives home the point most bluntly.
The AP misidentified this damselfly as a dragonfly, but the point remains that nothing's safe from this spill. Scrubbing your bathtub with a half a grapefruit and some salt won't do anything for fix this or alleviate it.
This spill is the result of an industry that regulates itself and the end result of 30 years of "business friendly" government policies. Encouraging investment and innovation is a good thing, but that not what "pro-business" means. What that expression means is to allow multinational corporations to run roughshod over anything that stands in their way. That's at best short-sighted and worst criminal. It's also been the de facto operating procedure of the United States since about 1981. Hearing the party that's spent the last 30 years systematically dismantling the EPA and anything that smacks of a regulation complain that the current administration isn't doing enough is a level of hypocrisy I find hard to believe. Hearing the party that stood by and let it happen trying to assert itself is almost as bad. This isn't about political parties, it's about a deeply flawed idea of governance.
This spill is bigger than BP, it's bigger than the Minerals Management Service, it's bigger than the EPA and it's bigger than the entirety of the US Federal Government. This is a catastrophe of a scale never before seen and one that will play out in the Gulf for years and decades to come. And for what?
Industries cannot regulate themselves. Repeat after me. Industries cannot regulate themselves.