What exactly is every one WAITING for?Posted: May 22, 2010
I took that picture of my dinner because I have no idea how much longer I’ll be able to buy Gulf Shrimp. I also don’t know how to get the nation’s attention. We have an oil tsunami down here and it’s not getting any better.
I’m posting links to our local stations because it appears that BP and the Coast Guard are chasing off the national media. For some reason, local journalists make it on to the boats and see the damage first hand.
I’m going to show you what Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes are doing and then there’s the presidential response which is basically to create an Oil-Spill Panel that’s got six months to do its thing. SIX fucking months! How many lives will be destroyed by that time? What on earth can be done by a committee that has six MONTHS to report? Where is the power of a president that can order a citizen assassinated and an assassin drone to cross the borders of a country with whom we are not at war? Where is any sense of urgency?
Meanwhile, back in my backyard at my favorite area to hike, things are a little more desperate. Oil is rushing towards the Barataria estuaries. Jefferson parish commandeered 40 idled-by-BP boats to try to stop the flow. That’s 40 boats just sitting around doing nothing. NOTHING at all. Oil is pushing into the marshes. We just keep getting excuses from every where. Plaquesmines Parish is now trying to fund their own program because they can’t get enough help.
Oil is pushing into more and more stretches of coastal marsh in Plaquemines Parish, with some stalks of cane now appearing to wilt from an onslaught of oil.
“This is our worst nightmare. I’m sick to my stomach,” said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. “It’s going through the other side of the bayou. So, it’s infiltrated all of this marsh and you can see the brown starting to work up the cane.”
Despite the presence of oil containment and absorbent boom, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser has watched more and more oil encroach on coastal marshes, with each passing day. As time goes by, he’s become more and more frustrated that the federal government has yet to approve a state proposal, which would build barrier islands off the coast to catch the oil, before it hits the marsh.
“We we’re asking to put back a little bit of the barrier islands, so we’d have a chance to save this,” Nungesser said.
The oil, which looks like thick, dark caramel, is sticking to this marsh and there is no clear solution on how to remove it.
“Seeing is believing,” said Plaquemines Parish Council Member Lynda Banta. “You hear it on TV, but when you come and see it first-hand– it’s overwhelming to me.”
Fully ONE month after the oil tsunami,we are getting a congressional delegation and a few cabinet secretaries on a visit again. Meanwhile, BP is fighting the EPA directive on dispersant. What do we have to do to get some attention down here?
I was relieved to see Anderson Cooper host both James Carville and Douglas Brinkley who basically said the time to do the razzle-dazzle is well past. This is a quote from the ragin cajun via Crooks and Liars.
“I’m as good a Democrat as most people, and I think this administration has done some good things. They are risking everything by this ‘go along with BP’ strategy they have that seems like, lackadaisical on this, and Doug is right, they seem like they’re inconvenienced by this, this is some giant thing getting in their way and somehow or another, if you let BP handle it, it’ll all go away. It’s not going away. It’s growing out there. It is a disaster of the first magnitude, and they’ve got to go to Plan B.“
The deal is James, stick your nose out the door and take a whiff. It was that nasty smell of old crayons all day long. There is no Plan B. There is only the fact that we are indentured servants to the world’s biggest corporations. They own us and they own our politicians. We leave all the plans up to them and the plans are all about maximizing profits and nothing else.
In one of the few glimpses of positive steps I’ve seen since this particular crisis unfolded is this news from ProPublica. The EPA is evidently considering some sanctions against BP.
Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency are considering whether to bar BP from receiving government contracts, a move that would ultimately cost the company billions in revenue and could end its drilling in federally controlled oil fields.
Over the past 10 years, BP has paid tens of millions of dollars in fines and been implicated in four separate instances of criminal misconduct that could have prompted this far more serious action. Until now, the company’s executives and their lawyers have fended off such a penalty by promising that BP would change its ways.
That’s all fine and dandy, isn’t it? We keep warning them and they keep keeping on. One of the three culprits in this disaster is Haliburton and they’ve been on a list of Federal nastiness for some time. They are joined by GE and some of the biggest most influential corporations in the world. How many warnings do you get before the interests of the American people come before corporate profits and influence peddling?
Federal law allows agencies to suspend or bar from government contracts companies that engage in fraudulent, reckless or criminal conduct. The sanctions can be applied to a single facility or an entire corporation. Government agencies have the power to forbid a company to collect any benefit from the federal government in the forms of contracts, land leases, drilling rights, or loans.
The most serious, sweeping kind of suspension is called “discretionary debarment” and it is applied to an entire company. If this were imposed on BP, it would cancel not only the company’s contracts to sell fuel to the military but prohibit BP from leasing or renewing drilling leases on federal land. In the worst cast, it could also lead to the cancellation of BP’s existing federal leases, worth billions of dollars.
The President and the Congress have this kind of power now. Why do we have to wait six months for a committee to tell them to use it?