Sunday, June 13, 2010
Gulf Oil Spill, the GOOD, the BAD, and the ULGY. . .
Transcript from personal comment from this episode of The Web-DVM:
Hello everyone, welcome back to The WebDVM, and thank you for joining me. The BP Oil Spill tragedy continues with no real end in sight. The title of today's program is Oil Spill, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Since I like to end my show on a positive note, and since unfortunately there is so much more bad and ugly than good in this debacle, I will start with ugly, move on to bad, and end with good.
The UGLY begins with ugly politics. The newly anointed far right faction of the Republican Party, known as the Tea Party, or my favorite term for them, Tea Baggers, is reacting to disaster by proclaiming the need for, ready for this? Less corporate regulation. Let's start with the pin up girl for the Tea Party movement, Sarah Palin.
On her Facebook page, Palin blamed the BP Oil disaster on environmentalists. Sarah said that the poor oil companies are forced to unsafely drill so deep, because the "greenies" got their way in banning drilling in shallower waters. If this so called energy authority were any more ignorant or stupid, she would be dead.
Known in Alaska for her abysmal environmental policy as Governor, a policy dubbed by environmental groups as slash, burn, kill, and drill and earning her the name, the "Killa from Wasilla," Sarah is, as always, dead wrong. Believe me, folks, if the oil companies really wanted to drill in shallower waters, they would be. They have enough politicians in their pocket, and a nation full of oil addicted gluttons to drill wherever they wanted. The reason they are not drilling shallower, Sarah, you moron, is because shallower reserves in the Gulf are tapped out. Both the oil companies and the government have mutually agreed that shallower water drilling would yield such small quantities of oil at this point, that it does not justify the expense nor the risk. The bottom line is that oil companies do not drill in shallower waters, because they know full well that ship has sailed long ago.
Senator McCain, given your record of service to your country both as military hero and for many years a legislator bound by principle, not strict party ideology or blind loyalty, I can forgive you for your recent shift to the far right to pander to the far right Tea Bagger loons. I can forgive you for the negative tone of your Presidential campaign. I can even forgive you for claiming recently that you never really considered yourself a "maverick." However, I can never, ever, ever, ever, ever forgive you for making this bimbo relevant.
Tea Party favorite, Kentucky GOP senatorial candidate, Rand Paul, was quoted on Fox News calling the President "un-American" for criticizing BP and putting his boot-heel on BP's neck in the midst of this crisis. If that was not enough, he was back on Fox Noise this week, once again defending BP, stating that Americans need to accept the fact that sometimes bad things just happen, and that it is absurd to need a "villain" in this mess.
Well, Mr. Paul, I will venture to say that you defending BP is what is un-America, because they are CLEARLY villian in this incident. They were glaringly unprepared for such an event, quoting CEO Tony Hayward, they clearly did not have the right "tools in the tool box" to deal with this crisis. Their 2009 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill preparedness plan had listed as their wildlife preservation expert, Peter Lutz, Professor at Texas A&M University, a man truly qualified for this post, but with the small problem that he has been dead since 2005! Listed as sensitive biological resources, the plan lists walruses, sea otters, sea lions, and seals, none of which actually live in the Gulf. The names and phone numbers of several Texas A&M marine life specialists are wrong, as are numbers for marine mammal stranding network offices in Louisiana and Florida. BP's safety regulation record in the past decade is known to be among the worst in the industry. And all this negligence and lack of preparedness has now led to this mass defecation of oil on our precious shores, with no success in stopping it to date, nor worthy effort to clean it. Lastly, BP continues to drag their feet and bury people in paperwork for claims submitted for massive amounts of lost fishing and tourism revenue to people who rely on the Gulf for their livelihoods. While they nickel and dime those who have lost their livelihoods as the result of their actions, BP just paid out $10 billion in share holder dividends, while spending $50 million in ads to try to salvage their image. So much are they dragging their feet in paying out claims, that Admiral Thad Allen of the Coastguard, the President's point man in this crisis, has submitted a strong letter to BP demanding more transparency in their claims process. BP is not villain, Rand Paul, they are evil incarnate, and you sir, are an idiot!
For those of you that still feel you wish to take this guy seriously, he also opposes the section of the civil rights act that prohibits discrimination in private establishments. That's right folks, Senate candidate Rand Paul not only wants us to forgive BP while deregulating their industry even more, he wants to bring back our right to discriminate based on race, color, or creed!
Lastly, Sharron Angle, the Tea Party GOP senatorial nominee for Nevada's Senate seat, reacts to this crisis by calling for, you guessed it, less corporate regulation. From her view, government needs to get out of the way to pave the way for corporate progress, even if that progress also creates a culture of greed and self interest that trumps the public good and environmental protection. Apparently, Ms. Angle is not satisfied with just one BP, she would like to have a whole bunch more that operate with impunity and no regard for anyone or anything but their profits. Incidentally, Sharron Angle is so against government intervention in our lives, that she is in favor of re-illegalizing alcohol. I just don't get these Tea Baggers who are all for small government when it favors big business, but all for government being all up in our business socially, even intruding on our right to have a beer!
On to the BAD. BP is collecting 15,000 barrels of oil per day with their latest attempt to stop the leak. Unfortunately, it is now estimated that 40,000 barrels or more have been spewing from the well, making the current efforts still not collecting more than 60% of the gushing oil. But BP seemed to make a nice gesture to donate the proceeds of the sale of all collected oil to the restoration of ruined wildlife sanctuaries, marshlands, and rehabilitation of injured wildlife. Sound nice, right? Well, its BP we're talking about, so not quite. You see, BP's current collection systems are overwhelmed with the amount of oil being collected. Once again, BP is unprepared. Their solution to the problem? Burning off the excess oil that they cannot handle. Burning the oil and polluting the air, but also burning away a large portion of that oil they slated to fund wildlife restoration. And their answer as to why BP has not brought in larger tankers to collect the oil? The Gulf is already too crowded with boats and ships. Really, that was their answer.
Okay, finally the GOOD. Kevin Costner testified before congress about the ability of a machine that his company developed to clean oil polluted water to 99% purity. He brought in experts to design such a machine in the wake of the Exxon Valdez spill, having been appalled at the lack of technological progress that has been made on oil spill clean up, technological progress that has not significantly improved even since the Valdez. In response, BP bought 25 machines, a number that is capable to cleaning 6 million gallons of water per day. Up to this point, Costner maintains that the oil industry had met his company's invention with dismissal and no interest. Hopefully the attention this congressional hearing has brought to these machines will make their use more commonplace for this and future spills.
That is our show for this Sunday, June 13, 2010. Please join us again next week.
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