Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The BP Disaster After One Year

Sierra Club:

One Year after the BP Disaster: Gulf Communities are Still in Crisis

Stunning Inaction by Congress after the Largest Environmental Disaster in American History
New Orleans, LA – One year after the largest oil spill in American history, Big Oil continues to rake in record profits, Congress has still not acted to hold BP accountable and thousands of working families and small business owners in the Gulf are still struggling to recover. 


The rest of the page, from a Sierra Club mailer, contains Executive Director Michael Brune's statement on the matter. He doesn't go easy on BP, of course... but he also faults Congress for its inaction. Read it; it's short.

If I recall correctly, Sierra Club policy opposes all deepwater drilling, on the grounds that the technology is not established as safe enough to protect the surrounding environment. It is a tragedy that we had to experience the effective destruction of the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico before the message sank in (or did it?): don't deepwater drill.

Don't let anyone tell you the Gulf was unharmed, or has returned to normal: that, to use Ms. Maddow's favorite expression, is bullpucky. The chemicals BP used mostly had the effect of sinking the leaking oil to the bottom, where it is less visible but just as deadly to sea life, enabling BP's spurious claim that it has cleaned the Gulf. The Gulf will probably not return to anything resembling a normal condition within my lifetime, and possibly not yours, either.

Meanwhile, Congress has done nothing to regulate such drilling, and BP is requesting bolder and riskier drilling permits, even in the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Meanwhile also, the "awl bidness" is patting itself on the back, proclaiming 2010 its best year ever. I dread seeing their worst year when that comes along.


  1. They celebrated by having a gas well blow out in Pennsylvania that caused drilling fluid to pollute a stream.

  2. (Sigh.)

    The very inventions that made our post-Depression economic progress possible in the 40s and 50s... e.g., the internal combustion engine and the assembly line... could well indirectly spell the death of our civilized lifestyle within a fairly short time. I'm not betting either way, but right now, things don't look good to me.



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