Heartsick and Overwhelmed!
A long time resident of Pensacola Beach – an attorney, an activist, a member of Coastkeepers, and a good friend of Debbie Hill, sent the following to her from the Gulf Coast:
I am heartsick and overwhelmed with litigation, recovery efforts, and volunteer coordination. I'm so proud of my Coastkeeper organization and the county officials who are stepping up in a bold and defiant way to protest and proactively take charge of perhaps the most devastating man-made-corporate-greed-clusterfuck to poison our beloved coastline and wildlife habitats in the history of our nation. BP's response has been ludicrous and unacceptable and until recently were dragging their ignorant, unregulated feet. Once again, the curse of Geronimo (imprisoned here in the 16th century) with the help of Big Oil is plaguing us with environmental challenge.
Bobby Kennedy is coming this weekend, he and Coastkeeper Pres. Mike Papantonio are spearheading a tremendous lawsuit against BP, along with multiple other lawsuits, to keep them accountable for their gross negligence and completely preventable action. A small remote device that other countries around the world like, say, Norway, are legally required to use on offshore drilling platforms, would have prevented this disaster, but BP chose not to purchase and install such a device because it cost $500,000 dollars. They chose instead to spend $600,000 dollars a day to try (so far with NO success) to cap a spewing volcano of oil that continues to dump 200,000 gallons of oil a day into our Gulf, killing fish, shrimp, coral reef, sea turtles, birds, and sea life and poisoning the food chain by the second. Even my sadly misguided Republican friends suddenly support our ban on offshore drilling and desperately appreciate all that "socialist" government help right now!!
Our beaches will never be the same. My brother, who is called the water quality honcho here, and every other expert I talk to says the same thing. We all will be screwed for decades. Tarballs are one thing, but the long-term effects are another. The dispersants being used by BP to "dilute" the oil throughout the Gulf is itself highly toxic to sealife and human life. Imagine these chemicals floating around for years, penetrating everything under the surface of the water from sand, seabeds to fish, seagrasses and humans. I know many who will be moving away and many more who depend on the Gulf for their livelihoods (commercial fishermen, shrimpers, boat captains, seafood restaurant owners, beach service companies) whose businesses will never recover.
We are so angry, so outdone, so inflamed and full of rage – the saddest thing is that once litigation is settled (10 years from now, maybe), the Gulf Coast will still not be whole again. The award money often gets spent unwisely and diverted away from cleanup and restoration. We are doing our best and using our wisest minds to make sure that does not occur. Here's to hoping that the sealife and animals do better for each other than we EVER do for them.
GULF OF MEXICO - Crewmembers aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Harry Claiborne, homeported in Galviston, Texas, prepare their Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System (VOSS) which helps remove oil from the ocean surface. The U.S. Coast Guard is working in partnership with BP, local residents and other federal agencies to aid in preventing the spread of oil following the April 20 explosion on mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon. U.S. Navy video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathen E. Davis.
The IXTOC I exploratory well in the Bay of Camphece blew out on 3 June 1979 causing a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. By the time the well was brought under control in 1980, an estimated 140 million gallons of oil had spilled into the bay. The IXTOC I is currently number 2 on the list of largest oil spills of all-time.
From Incident News.