BP folly brings ‘Oilpocalypse’ to shore

What many are calling the greatest disaster of our time occurred in the Gulf of Mexico at approximately 10 p.m., just 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010. The offshore drilling platform Deep Horizon exploded, resulting in the deaths of 11 workers, injuring 17 and a continuous gush of about 60,000 barrels of crude oil each day that experts say will not be stopped until, at the very earliest, December of this year.
To give you an idea of how bad this situation really is, you need to know what oil is. Oil is the anti-primordial soup, the end result of massive extinction and decomposition of ancient organisms, like dinosaurs. Basically when you pump gas into your car, you're pumping a boiled down dead brontosaurus into your gas tank.
Because of its Carbon and Hydrogen content, oil is used as fuel, commonly in its refined form, gasoline. Anything newly dead and rotting is considered a health risk, so of course raw oil is extremely toxic. On May 6, that toxic crap crept its way onto Louisiana's coastline, where it began to kill indiscriminately in more ways than one.
Louisiana residents depend on the Gulf for their food and income. Because of this spill, fishermen will be jobless and species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and shellfish will die off. Many restaurants will be forced to close due to their proximity to the spill or lack of food to prepare, and tourism will be severely disrupted.
As if that wasn't bad enough, now I'm hearing reports online and on TV saying that the rain, created from the water evaporating from the Gulf, will contain the oil byproduct benzene. This is a substance known to cause leukemia in humans after prolonged exposure.
Louisiana's way of life, our way of life, has been threatened because British Petroleum (BP) was allowed to repeatedly break rules and regulations regarding safety for both the public, the environment and BP workers. After I reviewed the findings of investigators concerning the explosion and looked at BP's history of other "accidents" such as this, it was easy to see that this corporation should have been cut down to size years ago.
BP operates the license for the Deep Horizon drilling platform, and this disaster is undoubtedly their fault. They have admirably taken responsibility, trying to clean up their mess and supplying grants for the Gulf states that average around $15 million, though this is not even a drop in the bucket considering BP makes billions of dollars every day. However, this is no random accident.
Numerous investigators have uncovered evidence suggesting that BP executives have cut corners to save on costs like replacing heavy drilling fluid with simple seawater or intentionally flawed cement encasement seals that used about 40 percent less cement than required.
In 2005 a BP oil refinery in Texas City, Texas, exploded. The blast killed 15 workers and injured 170. After a federal investigation, it was discovered that equipment, which was "recycled" by BP, caused an unsafe buildup of flammable gas that resulted in the blast. BP was charged with violating federal environment crime laws and became subject to a series of lawsuits by the families of the victims. When the refinery was rebuilt, BP was fined $87 million by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for not implementing safety improvements.
BP has consistently disregarded basic safety in hopes of making profit and deserves to be liquidated, which will more than likely happen. Under the Clean Water Act of 1972 alone, BP will be fined approximately $11 billion, and that is just one of the hundreds of fees that they will get slapped with. It appears that BP will wither and die along with the Gulf of Mexico.
Also, government officials have been far too lax with their regulation of oil companies. I can do nothing but criticize President Obama's lack of enthusiasm and insensitivity on this matter. For too long he stayed in Washington, and he even took a vacation in North Carolina just days after the incident first occurred. Obama really likes to play golf, apparently.
Even though he visited the blackened slippery shores and the grime-covered marshes – all while being conveniently led away from the worst areas by BP officials – what did he accomplish? A speech? Promises? Words are ephemeral, oil is real and it is killing us.
Because of greed and negligence, lives are being ruined and a culture being damaged, and the coming decades are beginning to look frighteningly grim. This travesty is inexcusable and infuriating, and the solution is very, very far off.
Realistically, there is no good news yet, no quick solution to this problem, and it will affect us for years to come. The "Oilpocalypse," as many have called it, has begun.