Last week, BP CEO Tony Hayward claimed the massive BP oil spill would have 'modest' environmental impact. As he walked the beaches of Grand Isle on Monday, May 24, Tony said he underestimated the possible environmental impact of the massive oil spill, and was "devastated."
Welcome to reality, Tony.
On May 17, Global Green and the Commercial Fishermen of America organized a community event to send a message to BP, President Obama, and Congress about their concern and anger about the BP Oil Spill. This was just days before oil hit their community's beaches.Here is a video account from part of the day:
Local resident, and surfer, "Kajun" Kent shared this little ditty and ode to BP (with all apologies to Jed Clampett and Beverly Hill Billies):
These very beaches, where Kent and his fellow Grand Isle residents live - a community of fishermen, mothers, hotel workers and others - are now closed.
Last night, local resident and Commercial Fishermen of America board member Margaret Curole shared with me the sentiment in Grand Isle:
Everyone's tempers are flaring over the...inability to recognize the importance of urgent action, but after Katrina I have no idea why we should expect different. The beach where we took the picture is closed and I couldn't get close. More and more military vehicles are on the road and helicopters are buzzing around like mad. As one of my dear friends said yesterday....."This ain't gonna end pretty!"
It is clear BP does not know how to stop the spill, and that they made false claims in their application by stating they had proven contingency plans in event of a disaster. Carol Browner assures us we have the best minds on the problem.
I dunno, I am beginning to feel like I am living in some strange never-world, or a bad science fiction film set in the future. In the film, I hear this perverse voice over stating: "It is day 1027 of the BP Oil Spill, and CEO Tony Hayward is about to announce the latest effort to stop the spill...".
I hope it's just that -- a fleeting fear of living in a science fiction film -- and that we come back to reality and get about the business of dealing with the worst environmental disaster our nation has ever seen.
It is all hands on deck time -- for stopping the spill, cleaning it up, holding BP accountable (and not allowing it to hide behind semantics of "legitimate claims" to avoid making good on their commitment to cover the costs of the spill), and reducing our dependency on oil by creating a cleaner, greener future.
President Obama's announcement of increased fuel efficiency for medium and heavy duty trucks last Friday was a needed yet modest step toward addressing the larger challenge of our dependency on oil. However, we have so much further to go in reducing our dependency on oil while stopping the spill, cleaning it up, making the Gulf Coast citizens, businesses, and ecosystems whole (if we can ever do that).
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