BP Oil Spill: Gulf Coast Update - #2
Me, The Feds and BP
I had not intended to post a gulf coast update this quickly. I made one just last week. But, events of this past Tuesday have compelled me to make this hub. First, things are about the same for the beaches in Biloxi, MS and the surrounding beaches in Mississippi. Same goes for beaches in Pensacola (the beaches there are closed to the public). Beaches in southern Alabama are no worse with one exception; Orange Beach. This beach is beyond belief.
This past Tuesday I decided to go to one of our beaches here in southern Alabama. I have been going there since I was a little boy all of 8 years old. That makes just over 50 years. I have enjoyed the warm gulf waters and fishing there for that length of time. As I said, I decided to see for myself how bad things were at this beach. There were approximately 50 people cleaning up the beach. They need approximately ten times that number...at least. I brought my little digital camera with me that I have not really used for about two years. I got a new battery and decided to take some pictures. I noticed as I was about to take my first picture at this beach, a man in a beige suit pointing at me. This beach had no notifications of being closed to the public. A local law enforcement officer came toward me. The conversation went like this:
LOCAL: Sir, you are going to have to leave. This is a hazardous area.
ME: Well, there are not signs designating this as a hazardous area. There were no signs saying it was a closed area either.
LOCAL: I don't know anything about that. But, you still have to leave and leave right now.
ME: I'm sorry, but this is a public beach. It has not been designated as a hazardous area. It has not been shut down. Why do I have to leave?
About this time one of about three feds showed up. How did I know he was a fed? I worked in the federal government for 20+ years. I know a fed when I see one. Also, right before fed #1 showed up, he had one of the BP hardhat guys motion toward me. There were two BP hardhat guys there.
FED#1: Is there a problem here? Sir...you can't be taking pictures here. Journalists are not being allowed in at this time.
ME: I'm not a damn journalist. I am a private citizen of the United States of America visiting a beach I grew up loving and enjoying for over 50 years. Why can't I take pictures?
LOCAL: Sir, you are going to lose this one. Take my advice, take your camera and go back the way you came. This area is not safe for you.
ME: Ok, if it is not safe for me, it is not safe for all those people cleaning up the beach either, right?
Now the local law enforcement officer and fed #1 are getting pissed. Two more feds show up at this time.
FED#2: Sir, you have been dutifully ordered to vacate the premises. Either leave or Deputy ***** will place you under arrest for refusing a lawful order to vacate. It is your choice.
ME: (I'm out numbered and out gunned) Ok, I'll leave. But, first I want names. I have the deputy's name. I want the names of you guys.
FED#2: The only information you need is that you have been lawfully ordered to leave. What happens next is...we need your camera also.
ME: You're not getting my damn camera! I have not been charged with a crime and I have broken no laws. I am leaving. But, you will not get my camera. We'll all be at the U.S. district courthouse next week if you try to take it from me.
With this, they all huddled together...feds, local and BP guys. I have to say the BP guys looked at me like they wanted to slice me up and feed me to all the dying sharks out in the gulf.
While they were huddled up, I decided to make my escape. I thought they were going to come after me at any moment as I was walking away. But, they did not follow me. I was already pissed when I got home. I was even more pissed off when the three pics I did take were all blurry. I don't know if it was due to a camera malfunction or if the toxic environment was the reason.
You swim at your own risk (you're a fool if you do get in the water). But, there is no reason why they can't let ordinary people come out and watch the cleanup from a safe distance. To be completely honest, I could not have stayed out there for very long. The smell is nauseating. I had a headache for three hours after I left. I don't know if it was due to my blood pressure being up because I was mad or if it was the toxic sludge coming ashore. I don't normally get headaches.
I do agree with the feds and BP people it is not safe to be out there. But, as I asked them, how can it be safe for the people cleaning up this mess? I saw something on CNN that alarmed me a couple of weeks ago. 98% of the people involved in the Exxon Valdez cleanup are deceased. Think about that for a moment. If it is true, what will be the true cost to the gulf coast in terms of wetlands and people?
BP Oil Spill News
- FACTBOX-Developments in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill | Reuters
July 8 (Reuters) - Here are some developments in BP Plc's Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest in U.S. history. TOP DEVELOPMENTS * The Obama administration said on Thursday
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BP Oil Spill Gulf Coast Update #2
- BP Oil Spill: Gulf Coast Update - #2
I had not intended to post a gulf coast update this quickly. I made one just last week. But, events of this past Tuesday have compelled me to make this hub. First, things are about the same for the beaches...