Saturday, June 12, 2010

Column: No sympathy or business for BP until BP plugs the well and begins to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf.

Some 54 days ago (April 20, 2010) on a semi-submersible offshore drill rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, an explosion happened. The explosion killed 11 workers and injured 17 more. Four days later, it was discovered that the wellhead was damaged and leaking oil into the Gulf.

Now as we in the United States sit, the company BP has been working on the well for about the last 50 days now and while progress has been made and a camera has been mounted nearby with a live feed by order, the oil still continues to leak out of the wellhead at a large capacity of an estimated 39+ million gallons already.

However during that time, citizens here in the United States especially in effected states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida are growing more and more frustrated with every passing moment and day that BP has yet to cap the well to stop the oil leak. And now that oil has already come ashore in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama or close to it, most citizens are blaming BP and even threaten to boycott the company. Right now the talk is “plug the damn hole.”

This is now the worst U.S. disaster in own nations history and this surpasses the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker tragedy that spilled 11 million gallons of oil into the ecologically sensitive Prince William Sound. But even more, the Exxon Valdez tanker only held just so much oil, however considering this well is located in the deepwater, it has a far bigger capacity and must be capped in order to stop the leak.

And second, the effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker oil spill at Prince William Sound are still being felt today, 21 years later and people can not only say there is still oil around, but can pick up a rock and see black water, now I can’t even imagine what we will see 21 years from now in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond, that gives me chills.

When it comes to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, people first want the well capped and that’s why people are mad. I really don’t know anything about deepwater drill rigs or how to cap a well, but it seems to me that there have been so many mistakes and 50 days is just too long to cap a well, give us a break.

If that wasn’t enough, now we have some elected officials and politicians who are defending BP include Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and even two of them are going so far to say taxpayers should pick up the tab including the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tom Donohue, and even House Minority Leader John Boehner said he believes taxpayers should help pick up the tab for the cleanup. "I think the people responsible in the oil spill--BP and the federal government--should take full responsibility for what's happening there,"

That’s ridiculous, there just covering BP and yes even Great Britain has gotten in on the act by defending BP. Great Britain should put themselves in our shoes, if this happened in their coast, they would be mad too and blaming BP.

I believe that it’s time for the federal government to step in with independent experts and cap this well once and for all. Even more I also believe that BP is trying to save the well and not just cap it.

Now I have to wonder just how much more U.S. citizens are going to take of this and I don’t see the problem in blaming BP, it was there well that exploded, so they made the mess, they pay to clean it up period. But make no mistake; the United States will pay for a longtime to come as this spill poses a serious threat to wildlife, over 400 species in that area along and more.

Plus as the current flows and storms come through, the oil will move down to Cancun and all over the Gulf to the coastlines of Texas and Florida. Some believe that the oil could even come up the east coast up all the way to New England.

The point is, until BP caps the well and really begins to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf and where ever the oil goes, BP will not get any sympathy or business for me and I can imagine some U.S. citizens as well. I don’t even have to boycott there gas stations, there gas prices are making it automatic for me as the prices are 5 to 10 cents higher anyway. See, taxpayers are already paying for this oil spill at the pump. I will say it once and say it again, “plug the damn hole.”

Sources: Google – Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, The Huffington Post, New York Times