Everyone who hasn't already done so should direct their RSS feeds and whatnot in the direction of Mother Jones' news-gathering super-hero Mac McClelland, who provided some of the best coverage of last year's BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and who promises some definitive "one year later" reporting in the days to come.
Meanwhile, she finds herself back on the same Louisiana coastal stretches she trod last year. While changes can be seen everywhere, as in the beaches are no longer "crawling with teams of cleanup workers raking big black pools of crude off the sand," McClelland reports that some things remain very much the same:
Like some lame iteration of Groundhog Day, the hundredth time I try to pull onto the Elmer's Island access road from Highway 1 in southern Louisiana--some 200 days after the last time I tried it--I am, once again, stopped. Last year, it was cops blocking the road. Now it's private security hired by BP.
"You have to get permission from central command to come on here, and then you'll probably have to be escorted by an official," the security guard tells me.
"How hard is it to get permission?"
"Usually pretty hard." She says a local reporter couldn't get through recently.
Later, McClelland talks to a German broadcast producer who says that "he calls and calls and calls, and BP refuses over and over to answer his questions about anything." Which is terrible, of course, and not a change from a year ago, at all. At the same time, you can hardly blame BP for persisting in their resistance to media coverage, seeing as how they've gotten so very, very good at it, that it's basically now the most competent stuff BP does.
Anyway, go read the whole thing. You'll especially enjoy the part where tar ball-hunting workers are making their own tools out of rake handles and broken sunglasses, because: winning the future.