Six Months Later: BP’s Oil Spill Still Stains

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It has been six months since the height of public outrage about the Deep Horizon catastrophe and ensuing oil spill. Periodically, news bubbles up about potential lawsuits against BP and partners, but for the most part, the media has moved on to more current pastures. Meanwhile the damage left behind still ravages the Gulf Coast environs and economy.

Earlier this month, ABC News reported on University of Georgia’s Samantha Joye’s findings that Deep Horizon oil carpets the Gulf of Mexico floor. At 5,000 feet below the surface there appears to be an 80-square mile kill zone. “It looks like everything’s dead,” Samantha Joye said.

Meanwhile economic relief efforts seem to be hitting some walls. While tourist centric business like casinos located far away from Gulf shores are getting Gulf Coast Claims approved by the government, fishermen are being denied after one of the worst shrimping seasons every recorded. These fisherman fall into four classes:

  • Small vocal number who have presented Feinberg with strong documentation.
  • A much larger group that has been paid, but far less than their emergency claims called for.
  • Another group of more than 30,000 claimants, led by an organized Vietnamese contingent in Louisiana.
  • Thousands who can’t produce enough documentation to satisfy the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.

The government dismisses these as suspect or fraudulent. Somewhere in between lies the truth. And on the interwebs, the BP PR machine continues.

No one asked BP to negligently contract and manage the operation of the oil Deep Horizon rig and its ensuing damage. Regardless of how the government and BP spin it, Americans, and the global environment will suffer for years to come.

2010 will go down as one of the worst years ever for environmental disasters. And BP’s negligent actions before and after the oil spill will go down as the largest lump of coal in the lot. The novelty of this has not been matched by the actions necessary to reverse the affects of manmade climate change. In fact, at least in the United States, environmental regulation seems to be moving backwards. Again, action to change falls to the individual.

If you would like to take action to help the fishing families of New Orleans, please consider Citizen Effect’s CitizenGulf project. Money goes to provide fishing children after school education programs.

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