The Catastrophe of the Coastal Cleanup

Everyday we are seeing the oil spill in the news. Now we hear that the oil is actually leaking more than double the amount first estimated. Every attempt made to plug the leak, so far has failed and the coastal cleanup is a catastrophe. More and more oil is gushing into the gulf. TV and internet news post the pictures daily of the catastrophic impact that the oil is having along our coastline. And it isn’t pretty.

In the court of public opinion, this disaster has taken center stage. Americans have reached the point where talk from the White House is just not good enough anymore. The oil spill has gone on long enough. It is time for action. While we understand that accidents happen and ventures are sometimes risky, many Americans have come to the conclusion that this administration has failed to protect our shores. We all get it, the oil leak is a BP problem and that ultimately, they are responsible. But it’s our coast. Doesn’t that make it our problem too?

Katrina vs the Gulf Oil Spill

Many are comparing the White House’s response of this disaster to the previous administration’s response to Katrina. Perhaps this is not a fair comparison, but people are taking notice of the failure of Washington to get any real results. Why aren’t we hearing about FEMA? Aren't they working on the cleaning the coast? Critics claim that FEMA’s involvement is not being highlighted because of the fear of even more negative comparisons to Katrina.

Stopping the leak and cleaning up the oil are undoubtedly, top priorities for Americans and surely we can say the same for BP. But it isn’t their shoreline. This is personal for us. It is our wildlife and natural habitats that are now endangered. Industries and even the livelihood of many who live and work in that coastal area are now threatened. How does BP fix all of that? Does BP get to determine what all of this devastation is really worth to us?

No meeting so far.
No meeting so far.

You're kidding right?

Given the extreme nature of this tragedy, one would imagine that our president would be in constant communication with the CEO of BP. With his own words president Obama has stated that he has not met with the CEO.

How does this engender confidence from the American citizens? Although we do not expect Obama to go down there and clean the oil up with his own hands we do expect a certain measure of involvement. And despite what may actually be happening, the perception is that this administration is not doing all that it should and overall; this will hurt the president.

The leak needs to be stopped and that is the top priority of BP. While it may not be our job to fix the leak, the results of allowing the oil to reach our shores are catastrophic for out coastal environments. It is our responsibility to protect our shoreline. How can it not be? It’s our land.

The price is far too costly for us not to get involved. And the truth is; it is in our best interest to clean up the coast. Although BP has stated that they intend to do all that they can to clean up the mess, is it really in their best interest to do as good a job as we would? It’s our coast, not theirs.

Big Government in Charge

So we look to Washington. Perhaps that is our mistake. The president can’t organize us out of this. As noted in his interview with Politico, the president stated that while some Americans are claiming government is too big, they are also looking to Washington to solve this crisis; he calls it hypocritical.

Not only is the oil spill itself a disaster, so are the all of the attempts to stop the leaking and those to extract the oil from the seawater. The clean up efforts are in chaos. Allowing the oil to reach our shores and affect our coastal regions will turn out to be one of the greatest disasters this country has ever seen.

Here is real hypocrisy. Three days after the leak, the Dutch offered to send specially outfitted tankers designed to clean oil out of sea water and this administration turned them down with a nice letter that said thanks, but no thanks. Within the first weeks of the spill, offers came from all 17 different countries to assist in the clean-up efforts and they were set aside.

From day one, we have had ordinary citizens, experts and even celebrities offer a variety of means to help and so far, they have been ignored. We have seen the videos and television shows that showcase all kinds of ways to clean up the oil before it could reach our shores and cause even more damage. But none of these have been implemented.

We have a governor begging for permission to create numerous sand traps to keep the oil out of delicate wildlife habitats and this administration states that they need to study the environmental impact first, allowing only a few of these traps.

Study environmental impact?

Isn’t the impact of all that oil reaching our shores, hundreds of times more damaging than sand? Real help is being offered, some offered at no cost to the government. Why aren’t these offers being implemented? Well, for one reason is the big government regulations. All of these offers have to be submitted, studied, considered and rendered by government regulators. How much time does it take to do all of those things? Is big government and red tape standing in the way? Sure seems to be.

Keep in perspective the word games between Obama and BP. BP helped to bankroll Obama's campaign and have actively supported his efforts in getting the Cap-and-Trade legislation a reality. This back door example of corporate greed hand in hand with our current government gives us a glaring look into Obama’s hypocrisy and his manipulation of capitalism. The ‘what’s in for me’ is truly blazing.

Doesn’t it give you a chill up your leg?

Obama’s big government regulation policies failed to stop BP from using ineffective safety procedures. Big government has created a log jam of red tape for fixing this problem. To many of us, we interpret that as big government getting in the way and being part of the problem and not the solution. Yet he claims that he is doing everything he can. How’s that for hypocrisy. Mr. Obama, would you and your red tape please just get out of the way and let real Americans get to work?

Americans are always at the ready to help out in extreme circumstances, not just with a checkbook but with brains and muscle. Imagine seeing a person trapped in a car that was on fire. Before the fire department arrives, would we sit by and let that person die because we didn’t have the appropriate paperwork or certification to give assistance?

How about a child who falls into the water, how long would you wait around for the currently licensed and regulated rescue specialists to arrive, before you just jumped in and saved the child?

Surely getting the oil out of water before it reaches our shore is a better strategy than giving the ducks a bath after the fact. Sure, shame on BP for the leak.

But, Shame on us for allowing the water to get close enough to our shores for the need to bath the duck. Shame on Washington for making it so difficult to get any real clean up efforts implemented.

When the governor of a state has to ask permission of the federal government to place sand in their own waters for protection of its shore, we have a problem. It’s their state. They should be able to protect it without federal bureaucracy.

They aren’t out to destroy their own shores. They have tested solutions to protecting the coast. Time is essential here and Washington is still playing the ‘wait and see’ game. We have nothing to gain by waiting and so much to lose.

Let’s put off playing the blame game and get to work. There is plenty of time afterwards for that and there is certainly enough blame to go around. We don’t need the rhetoric. We don’t need the president cussing on national TV, just to show he cares. We don’t need to be pointing fingers at who did what and when, at this point.

We do need the president to honor his promise of transparency and show us what is being done. We need to stop the red tape bureaucratic log jam. We need to stop the oil from flowing onto our shores. We need to stop the catastrophe of the coastal clean up.  We need to protect the habitats, the wildlife, the jobs, the livelihood, and the industry in that region. We need to do whatever it takes to fix this.

Do you think our Government is hampering the cleanup?

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Do you think Obama has shown himself to be a strong leader in the Gulf clean up?

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Comments 36 comments

Apostle Jack 6 years ago

It's a sad thing,but it marks the sign of the times

whereas we are aporching.We are at the begaining of a

long and dark time span.

Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

I'm still having a hard time trusting our President for many reasons ~ it's almost as though there's a subtle, but intentional movement to weaken and destroy America in so many ways. Last night I heard about human hair mats BP allegedly is considering, just approved by the EPA. I found a 47-sec youtube video on it: (aka OttiMats)

You're right ~ there's equipment already prepared to go out to siphon and extract the oil so it's cleaned up and used, offered by Americans that are as ready as Minute-Men! Our government and BP are in the lime-light, and the longer they wait for any reason, the more suspicious the motive for doing so becomes.

Great hub ~ let's all be praying!!

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Apostle Jack, I totally agree with you that this is a sign of the times. When added to the growing pile of all of the other signs, It sure makes one sit up and pay attention.

Thank you for your comments.

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Hello Judah's Daughter, from one JD to another, I'm glad you stopped by. Thank you so much for popping that you-tube up there and for your comments.

I read a report that outlined what the Dutch offered to do in the Gulf just days after the explosion. I am appalled that this administration's turned down such an offer. The Dutch have all new state of the art stuff for just this kind of emergency. And the Dutch sure know a little something about building dams. None of the oil had to reach the coast.

It is the federal regulations that Obama is so strictly adhering to that will not allow the Dutch clean the spills. The same regulations that are stopping Jindal's request for sand bars. The same regulations that so far have halted any real and effective cleanup. That is Obama's idea of effective big government. Wonder how that is working out for everyone who voted for him? How do they like the 'change' now?

Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 6 years ago from Roseville, CA

The Obama supporters I know, thus far, seem to 'see' him as a 'christ'! I'm sorry, but his "fundamental transformation" of America seems to be leading to destruction. Who "tranforms himself" into an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14-15)? I am in agreement with Apostle Jack and everything you've said, JD. Our government appears to be rejecting the solution to this problem, and for what 'agenda'? That's my question!!

TinaMarieTad profile image

TinaMarieTad 6 years ago from Michigan

Joni~~ Great Hub once again. I wish Obama had let the Dutch get involved with the clean-up..instead he sits in his office while thousands and thousands of barrels of oil spew from the leak. There will be long term ramifications from this spill.

Judahs Daughter~ You are right about the fundamental transformation of America that seems to be leading to destruction of America from within. It is frightening time for America as we knew her..I pray that America can be saved!

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

You bring up a very good question, JD. What does he have to gain by it? It sure makes one wonder if there is some agenda to not cleaning this spill up quickly. Why he drags his feet over something this essential is beyond understanding, especially given that time is of the essence.

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Hi Tina, Thank you for stopping by and reading my hub. You couldn't have said it any better. There will certainly be ramifications from this spill. Already he is halting further drilling and exploration of oil. He seems to determined to keep America dependent upon his Muslims friends for our energy needs.

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

It seems more time is spent on focusing blame than on stopping the spill. I think there is time for lawsuits etc after the problem is solved.

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

You wrote what so many of us are thinking. Glad to see it in print.

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Great point dahoglund. This oil should never have reached our shores. We, and others throughout the world, have the technology to get the oil picked up before it did ever hit the coast but Washington dragged their feet. I sure would like to know why. Cap n Trade? Stop all drilling? Something is driving them to allow this catastrophe to go on, in my opinion.

Thank you for reading and for your comments.

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

I appreciate your comments Sheila. Although I admit accidents happen, there is something wrong here. Why we would turn down help from others who have the knowledge to effectively curtail the damage to our shores is just startling to me.

Thank you for stopping by.

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Joni an excellent hub and thank you for taking a stand and voicing your position to this awful mess. This is not just a USA matter, it's a GLOBAL one and it should be dealt with accordingly, to refuse to allow help from all these other countries is downright insanity. BP is doing a miserable job of stopping the leak and the Obama administration are sitting on their high horses doing zilch. Instead Obama will entertain Paul McCartney instead and not even have discussions with BP?? give me a break. Where is this president's priorities? Here is a link to a fellow Hubber is actually working on the scene on the ocean floor and giving us a daily report and it's still a gloomy one, how sad. Thanks again for your timely report. Here is the link, enjoy.

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

saddlerider1, thank you so much for reading my hub and for your great comments.

I have read Harlan's hub and he does a great job explaining what is really going on down there. I sure appreciate you posting the link to it.

As for where are Obama's priorities? Right where they have always been....his agenda. This is just another obvious scenario where we can clearly see that the president's priorities are not the same as the peoples.

profile image

SilverGenes 6 years ago

Joni, thanks for this great article. This is a terrible tragedy and is not just an American one. It's global The water from the Gulf of Mexico travels a very long way and affects many other countries. This will affect the globe, not just America and I don't understand that any one government has the right to turn down help in containing the spill at this point. I'm sorry if this upsets anyone on here, but it's not just about America. Let's work together to first, fix it; second, prevent it every happening again; and third, decide who compensates who after the threat is past.

It's time for some serious changes on this planet. It's just too small a world now to support such monumental greed and seeming indifference. Maybe it's time to start using all those products and systems that rely on sustainable energy and let the oil stay in the ground. We have the products and the technology. Let's use them!

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you Silver Genes for reading my hub and for your great comments.

The seeming indifference is what really gets me. Obama says he is doing everything he can but doesn't tell us what that is. We can put a man on the moon but can't stop oil in the water from contaminating our shores? I don't buy it.

I believe that Obama will use this as a reason to stop off-shore drilling. Personally, I think that is a grave mistake. We are years away from being independent of oil. The US has more oil reserves than we know what to do with. More oil is leaking naturally off the California shore every year than what was spilled from the Valdez. If we drilled in our own waters and on our own land, we would be free of the yoke that the Middle East has over us. The jobs it would create would certainly stimulate the economy.

This would give us the much needed time to work on real solutions to end our dependency on oil altogether and to implement the cleaner technology that we all want, more cost effectively.

kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

This whole situation with the oil leak is so tragic. I hope something is done soon to solve this problem.

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

It is tragic, I agree kaltopsyd. We need to do something soon. The problems continue to escalate right in front of our eyes.

singlmomat52 profile image

singlmomat52 6 years ago

I am from the Texas coast. Although to this point the Texas coast has been spared, it breaks my heart for those down the coast that souly rely on their income from the gulf. It is a catastrophe that cannot be ignored. With all the technology in the world you would think that something could have already been done to stop this deluge that will affect the sealife, the wildlife and those who depend on their income from this source for many years to come. Thank you for a eye opening Hub that says much of what is on many peoples minds these days. Our President only agenda seems to be to do what he wants to do because 'He is President' and not what is good for the well being of the people of this grand country. Thank you for sharing!!

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

I heard that Jindal has begun putting the sand dunes in place in spite of what the administration states...Good for him.

Hopefully, tonight we will hear more of Obama has planned. It should never have gotten this far out of hand. My heart breaks for all who are threatened in any way by the mishandling of the spill.

Thank you singlemom for stopping by and leaving such a great comment.

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

This may be the worst thing that has happened in my lifetime. I can hardly believe it. Thank you for the excellent reportage. Well done!

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Thank you James for reading and for the praise. It certainly is a horrible thing. I do not pretend to have all the answers but it sure makes sense to me to allow other countries, who have dealt with similar disasters, to aid in the clean up. But then, we go back to that common sense issue again.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

Great article, Joni! I think you go to the heart of the matter when you say that capping the well is BP's top priority and you point out that, in light of letting BP absorb the blame, we the people (our government) have not done everything within our power to adequately protect our shores, environment, and welfare. If we were truly doing that, Obama would get it things in gear, do what needs to be done in terms of cleanup and pollution avoidance and then figure out how BP is going to reimburse America when time is not of the essence. He has failed in this manner, he is essentially doing the same thing with immigration, and yet there are still folks who refuse to see his inability or his outright stubborn in terms of taking the proper and necessary actions in a timely manner. Thanks for a great hub! WB

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Great to see you here Wayne, thank you for stopping by. Your comments are indeed, right on the money.

Why should we trust a foreign agency to handle the clean up of our precious shoreline?

If someone were to cause an accident in my home, I would not allow them to do the clean up. I would do it, they may help but it is my carpet. Even though we're friends and they would pay for the professional cleaning job, it is my carpet and would rather the cleaning be done to my satisfaction, on my time line.

To tie the hands of the governors trying to beat the oil, just because the monster called Washington can't move that fast is insane.

I sure appreciate the comments and am glad you stopped by.

Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

It's a problem that just keeps on getting worse. And yes, it DOES give me a chill to think that this company had 760 safety violations while all of its other competitors during the same period had between 2 and 8, and federal regulators didn't literally come aboard every single rig and start examining things deeply. This would be like an airline having 760 crashes and the FAA just slapping on a few fines and saying "You guys really ought to be flying a little more safely."

No. You ought to be grounded until we find out why your planes are having such a hard time staying in the air. And until we know why you, BP, are getting so many safety infractions you're not going to pump another drop of oil.

This is the side to regulation that always seems to come against a brick wall. You have to use it not just to make rules and impose fines. You have to also use it to make sure corrective action is being taken as well, and in the case of safety, swiftly. Otherwise its just beauracracy that impedes progress and solves nothing.

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Absolutely Springboard! BP is responsible. We can have this in court for years placing blame right where it needs to be. But in the meantime, we need not sit around and wait for them to clean up the mess in their free time.

It is our shoreline and we need to act immediately and perhaps our bureaucracy needs to be a touch more pliant and user friendly. What's the point of sticking so rigidly to it, if it does more harm than good. Thank you for stopping by and leaving such great comments.

bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

I am so heartbroken as a Louisianian about all the ramifications from the spill and Obama's dissmissal of offers early on to help. As Dr. Phil would say,"Whut Wuz he thinkin'?"

What concerns me lately is that if ONE oil spill castrophe in the gulf has caused and will continue for years to come, such widespread financial and health issues , what is to keep the terrorists from having an "AHA!" moment and decide to cause their own havoc in the gulf? Don't think for a rose colored glasses moment that "they" aren't watching as this plays out to be the worst spill in U S history.

It just grieves me. It really does, because from what we have seen thus far from this administration, we will get nowhere fast.

My username is bayoulady. I love the bayous of my state and grieve for all of the lives, both human and wildlife that have been lost.My son works on a barge in the gulf.What will be the long term health issues from this? My gut feeling is that it will be bad.....

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

bayoulady, thank you for stopping by and leaving such a thought provoking comment. The long term consequences could surely be tremendous. I am more than sad. I am mad at the way this was treated. I live in Michigan and if something threatened Lake Michigan like what is happening in the gulf, I'd be beside myself. Hang in there, we are all praying for the gulf to survive this. May God Bless you.

tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 6 years ago from home


Let us remember what Rahmbo- deadfish Emmmanuel said "Never let a crisis go to waste". Here is the deal they have refused help and done nothing to advance their " no Oil drilling ideals " Lets face it stopping drilling is the only thing he has done...Thats it... And he has given interviews about whose a$$ to kick....Plug the hole... there has been his actions he is doing nothing to solve the problem- he is not cgetting rid of the red tape or anything else... Hey Barry you can't help stop the spill with your words alone". I am sick of the lack of criticizim by the drive-by media. Who assaulted Bush endlessly for what now looks like a responsive and decent job with Katrina. Makes me sick, Barry could be just boosting up his replacement Jindahl.

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

You said a mouthful there Tom. I agree. Obama has not done all that he can to protect the shoreline. This will not be forgotten. If you've notice, bashing Bush for Katrina has stopped completely. The comparison is too obvious.

TheManWithNoPants profile image

TheManWithNoPants 6 years ago from Tucson, Az.

Great piece, and thank you for it. I live down here on the Texas Gulf Coast. So far so good on this end of the Gulf, but I grieve for our neighbors. Prayers please. A hurricane could eliminate our security blanket also. I would have written a hub on this but to be honest, I'm just too pissed to for it to be a quality product. Thank you for this well written piece.

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Oh you are more than welcome Mr nopants. The whole country knows how damaging this can be to every gulf state including Texas and we all say a prayer for those who are affected.

RobertAllenSavage profile image

RobertAllenSavage 6 years ago from Buffalo, WYOMING

Okay I am jealous, you write better than I do, great article (winces in pain at that admission)

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Not So, Robert. I just read your Sun Rising and thought it Awesome. But I sure appreciate the sentiment.

Sara Algoe profile image

Sara Algoe 6 years ago from Phoenix, Ariz

First of all the second poll was a shocker to me, i had a rough idea that people are really mad at Obama but never estimated a 100% unanimous disapproval of his leadership competence.

Secondly i too am really concerned about this oil spill its clearly the biggest man made environmental disaster but the delays in proper handling of situation are just unacceptable.

Last night i saw the footage of oil leak being caped and it just amazed me that it took them 3 months to do something this simple. There was no nuclear science behind it.

Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago Author

Hi Sara, I was surprised to see that result as well.

Oddly enough, I remember asking my husband in the first few days after the spill started why they don't just put a thingy over it to catch or suck up the leaking oil. Who knew? Makes you wonder sometimes.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a great comment.

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