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?
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.