THE BLOG
04/21/2011 12:32 pm ET Updated Jun 21, 2011

A Year Out: Deepwater Horizon Is Obama's Katrina

Jason Anderson, Aaron Dale Burkeen, Donald Clark, Stephen Curtis, Roy Wyatt Kemp, Karl Kleppinger, Gordon Jones (M-I SWACO), Blair Manuel (M-I SWACO), Dewey Revette, Shane Roshto, Adam Weise ....

I had to search for those 11 names; most of you may not know them. We didn't start a war over them, they're not under any suspicion of anything, not a board of directors of some evil corporate cabal; on the contrary, many would say they are victims of it.

I searched for their names first at Wikipedia. I had googled "names of 11 killed Deepwater Horizon," which brought me to the Wikipedia entry on the Deepwater Horizon. The first reference to the names is in paragraph one:

"The explosion killed 11 men working on the platform and injured 17 others..." and then again under the heading "Explosion" in this fashion, "Most of the workers escaped the rig by lifeboat and were subsequently evacuated by boat or airlifted by helicopter for medical treatment; however, 11 workers were never found despite a three-day Coast Guard search operation, and are presumed to have died in the explosion."

No blue type to delineate an entry about the 11 killed. Their names not there; in fact, the paragraph sounding very cheery about the rescue with the deaths being a "however," an "Oh ya, and ..." I'm not even a member of one of the families and I'm offended.

But I found them in a story about how frustrated the families are a year later, how frustrated the region is and how all this pep talk about how things are recovering just aren't true. And there's plenty of stories about how BP claims to have had its best year ever in terms of safety, yet it caused the worst oil spill in history ?? Lots of stories about how the CEO got a million dollar retirement package and bonuses given here and there and it's enough to make one puke crude, much like a lot of the Gulf remains doing.

First of all, to the families, these people are not "presumed" dead Wikipedia. I know it may be a legal thing, bodies never found, no conclusive evidence, blah blah. They were killed, soldiers in the energy wars killed by friendly fire. Jason Anderson, Aaron Dale Burkeen, Donald Clark, Stephen Curtis, Roy Wyatt Kemp, Karl Kleppinger, Gordon Jones (M-I SWACO), Blair Manuel (M-I SWACO), Dewey Revette, Shane Roshto, Adam Weise .... victims of our wanton unbridled lust for oil and the greed of those that produce it. They are dead, gone forever, never to be seen or see their loved ones or live to any more potential; they are gone.

And their deaths appear to have meant little to the world. Nor did the subsequent deaths of everything from thousands of dolphins to countless species of marine life; from the deaths of the livelihoods of so many in the region to the loss of countless ecosystems.

In President Barack Obama's recent energy speech he boasted that he had granted many offshore permits, and that, in fact, many of the permits his administration has granted aren't being used, so basically, drill baby, drill. In the same speech he stated that if we drilled and secured all the oil on and off our shores we would still only have 2 percent ... 2 percent. Then why are we risking so much for so little?

The Deepwater Horizon and spill is President Barack Obama's Katrina, make no mistake. And so far from the cheap seats it seems that the response on all levels has been equally as dismal; and in Obama's case the core of that problem is that he left and has left the handling of this to BP, the criminals in charge.

"Citizens United" gave corporations personhood. If a person behaved as BP continues to behave and destroyed so much, including what I believe to be negligently causing the deaths of Jason Anderson, Aaron Dale Burkeen, Donald Clark, Stephen Curtis, Roy Wyatt Kemp, Karl Kleppinger, Gordon Jones (M-I SWACO), Blair Manuel (M-I SWACO), Dewey Revette, Shane Roshto, Adam Weise, then they would be in jail. Plain and simple. In jail.

So why is no one here?

A year after this disaster it's more of a disaster than ever, and appears it will continue being one for years and years to come. The area is not healed, the ecosystems not rebuilt or reestablished, the people not compensated adequately and in a timely fashion, animals are still dying and many say oil is still appearing. This is a mess.

I know I'm supposed to trust the Gulf seafood. But I don't. I'm sorry. I know people are fishing and eating the fish and loving it and yummy yummy but, well, I haven't eaten sushi since the Japanese nuclear disaster so maybe I'm a little too cautious. And I know I should eat it in support, to help the area recover. But I don't feel any of this has been handled on the up-and-up, and when in a disaster James Cameron and Kevin Costner become major players then it arcs in to an entirely new story line. The theatre of the absurd. Dispersant being used in such quantity with no clue what that will do years down the line but it's safe, nothing to see here ... all of it.

Eleven people died on that terrible day, eleven family members touching the lives of hundreds of people gone. Then corporate criminals moved in and the entire disaster has been mismanaged; a debacle. The Gulf region has all but been destroyed for decades, so many lives lost and ruined.

Why won't we learn. Shut down off shore drilling, period, end of story, in all waters we control. Care more about people, and the environment than a need for a fuel that is going away anyway, care more for 100 percent of the people and places than 2 percent of world's oil. And while we're on it, get over nuclear. The Japanese incident has shown that we are horribly prideful if we think we can make anything 100 percent safe and in the small chance that things go wrong, they go terribly, terribly wrong.

Learn from the mistakes, and from the deaths of Jason Anderson, Aaron Dale Burkeen, Donald Clark, Stephen Curtis, Roy Wyatt Kemp, Karl Kleppinger, Gordon Jones (M-I SWACO), Blair Manuel (M-I SWACO), Dewey Revette, Shane Roshto, Adam Weise and so many others.

Time to change. For real. Change we really can believe in. It starts with us wanting it. I do. Do you?