24 May 2010

This sums up the Deepwater Horizon nightmare perfectly

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.


  1. Amen and amen. What is even worse (God, what could be worse??) is that now Republicans want to limit BP's liability to $75 million and have us, the taxpayers, foot the bill for the rest (half a billion and counting) despite the fact that BP has made nearly $3 BILLION in revenues since the spill began. But, you know, government "meddling" via regulation or, say, a public option for health insurance is DIABOLICAL. God.

    Okay, I'll come down off the soapbox now... What a photo; thanks for sharing it. I put a bullfrog on my blog today and am, like any good treehugger, heartbroken at all the critters dying because of this.

  2. I get so incensed every time I look out at the Gulf I can barely stand it. As enraging as the Sarah Palins of the world are about this the Democrats aren't exactly blameless. 30 years of dismantling regulations couldn't been accomplished without their complicity. The Republicans have been driving the train, but the Democrats have been shoveling the coal.

  3. I couldn't agree more, Paul. This is an obscenity (and calamity) of the first water, so to speak.

  4. As go the damselflies, so goes an entire way of life along the Gulf Coast. It's a horror show.

  5. What a sick, sick clusterfuck. I can't even read anything having to do with it. I was never a fan of our government, but between things like this and the corn/beef industry, I loathe the whole stinking rotten system with a passion.

  6. So much for me buying BP gas anymore. I think we should all move away from them, distance ourselves as much as possible and hope other companies' revenues, that may get my business, don't go in part, to BP. They can't raise their prices because other companies won't need to and they'll price themselves out of the market. I did hear though, on NPR that they are trying to raise the cap from 75M to 10B. That was put in place from Valdez but they are arguing that it is obsolete for many reasons. Hopefully it will work and it will be changed. One (more/other) thing that really bothers me is that they want to stop the lawsuits from being filed in certain courts and relegate them to others that will surely take decades. One quote I heard about this that is a pretty perfect assessment, and I may mess it up here, but basically the gist is: "you cannot privatize profits while publicizing responsibility" or something to that effect. I say let 'em sink faster than their oil rig.


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