“Please Mr. President, take over and make things better.” While I sympathize with this quote from another blog on the gulf oil spill, I have to say that the thought of the government stepping in is chilling to me at best. Why? Because the government stepped in on the Exxon Valdez disaster years ago and the Alaskan shores still bear too many sad reminders of what was then the worst oil related disaster in history. The government also stepped in to make things better in New Orleans after Katrina and one has only to drive a few minutes from the French Quarter to know that all is most definitely not better. There’s a better solution ... and it’s a workable one.
The government should step in and this disaster should be taken away from British Petroleum’s now financially failing hands, but the answer is not a full take over, it’s a blue ribbon commission that oversees a repair and recovery effort funded by all of the major US Oil Companies who drill off the coast. Over the last several years, while Americans have suffered through a painful financial collapse, petroleum sales revenues have created sickening profits on the part of the major oil companies. Each quarter we hear about the billions in profits these companies bank. To make us feel better they create beautiful mini-movie commercials to tell us that they’re exploring to find new clean energy sources or that they’re providing healthcare around the world. While I laud these efforts, I can’t help but see them as a little ironic in the face of one of the worst disasters an industry has ever perpetrated on the environment.
This is no longer BP’s problem. Sorry fellas. According to the ‘Journal’ you’re probably headed out of business because of what is happening here, but you yourselves said right from the start that you didn’t have the resources to deal with it. If out of business is where you go that’s fine with me, but I don’t see this as your problem anymore. This problem has rocked worldwide confidence in ALL oil companies. While you all may work hard to avoid mistakes, your history of dealing with it when you do isn’t great. In this case you need to step up, pool your resources and a share of your ENORMOUS profits (tax free if need be) to not just cap this leak, but invest in the years worth of rebuilding that will be necessary to make what you’ve ALL done here right. BP may have been leasing this platform, but if they hadn’t been one of the rest of you would have been and instead of pointing fingers and talking about a competitor’s irresponsibility it’d be your face on the evening news saying, ‘I’m sorry,’ and talking about how the latest fix didn’t work.
The people of the gulf coast have had a rocky few years, first from Katrina and now from this mess. Do I want Uncle Sam to fix it? No. He/She has enough on his hands at the moment and I’d rather not see my tax dollars pouring into solving a problem that the oil companies are much more likely to be able to fix. But would I feel just a little better about the rest of you if you stepped up, pooled resources, capped this leak, made sure the rest of the platforms are rigged with the proper fail safes, and then funded a grass roots effort among the very people who’ve been put out of work by this calamity to restore the gulf coast to it’s pristine, beauty? You bet I would and I wouldn’t even change the channel when the ads that say you’re doing that come on TV.
That’s my two cents.