Monday, May 03, 2010

"America's Chernobyl"

...and no, I can't take credit for the title. It was from some caller on a talk show. And he's right. The BP "It's not OUR fault" spill is going to be a huge disaster. Built on a pile of lies. BP says they leased the rig out to one company. Halliburton (remember, Cheney's "retirement plan" company with all the no-bid Iraq contracts??) made the concrete thingies that failed, and BP says it "only owns the land upon which the rig was built." Not their rig, not their crew, not their baby. This makes the Valdez screw-up look like a sneeze. This is gonna ripple all the way up the East Coast and it's going to cost the Gulf states in terms of tourism and industry for decades. Let's see. The Supreme Court says that a corporation now has the same rights as a person. So they have the same responsibilities. At least there are littering laws. And at most, there are charges of murder that can be filed. Somewhere in between there, there's gotta be some "assault and battery" that can be said to have happened to the people who rely on the Gulf for their livelihoods. I know - it seems far-fetched. And BP is already up with the conciliatory statements of "we're willing to do everything we can to help." Well, you could've bought the shut-off valve they use in Norway and other European areas. Oh, hang on. That cost a few thousand bucks more. The object of a corporation is to increase shareholder wealth. Don't bother with that couple thou' - nobody'll notice if we use a cheaper shut-off valve. This rig was designed to withstand a hurricane. Well. Apparently BP never heard of the idea of a fire on an oil rig. There's no contingency plan, folks. This wasn't even on the radar for the corporation in a "worst case scenario" play book. Another caller said he wondered if "Someone was trying to tell us something." Let's see: Financial crisis; housing crisis; off-shore drilling approved. BOOM!! Off-shore rig catches fire. Corporation takes no overt responsibility, and people say the government (of which some want less) "didn't do enough" in the first days. What? The Coast Guard "isn't enough??" People can't have it both ways. This is a mega-watt spotlight on how we can't allow corporations to duck their responsibilities. The Administration needs to submit a bil to BP. And BP must - absolutely must - "man-up" and pay for this. If it's their oil, it's their problem. Period.

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