Clearwater Beach May 1st


A picture named M2

The oil spill in the Mexican Gulf is really scary for us living in Florida, if the oil reaches the shore line, it will harm the ecosystem for an unforeseen future. We spent a few hours on a beautiful Saturday afternoon on Clearwater Beach. The beach was filled with people basking in the sun and playing in the water. It is hard to imagine what Clearwater Beach would look like drenched in oil. Approximately 210, 000 gallons of oil per day has leaked out into the gulf since the BP-operated oil rig exploded two weeks ago. If nothing can be done to stop the oil from pouring out into the water, this might as well turn into the biggest environmental catastrophy in the US history.  Commercial and recreational fishing have now been banned in some parts of the gulf, these are considered the most fertile fishing grounds in the world.  

Documentation from BP reveals a Titanic scenario where BP claims that an accident such as the one we saw two weeks ago could not happen. Which means that there is no plan for how to stop the leak or clean up the oil slick that is now bigger than Costa Rica and moving towards the coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, the oil slick kills everything it covers on its way through the gulf, small drops of toxic oil is leaking to the bottom of the sea and kills clams, larvae and eggs of everything, this will cause a long term effect on the fishing industry and wipe out the livelyhood for thousands of families living along the coastline.
The smell and fumes from the crude oil can already be felt in Louisiana, symptoms of overexposure to crude-oil fumes are headache, nausea, dizziness and flu-like symptoms. These symptoms are likely to occur to clean-up workers but also to people that live and work nearby the oil slick.  
BP is not only busy with clean-up and prevention of more leaks, they have also sent out hordes of lawyers to people living along the coast line. Settlement agreements are being distributed offering payments of up to 5000 in exchange for people giving up their rights to sue. Hopefully few people sign these settlements as the leak is still ongoing and the consequences for all of us living along the Mexican Gulf are unknown. Signing these settlements means that you give up the right to maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars, BP knows that and therefore they want to act quickly. This is totally irresponsable behaviour, these lawyers should be out cleaning the leaking oil instead of trying to lure innocent people into a bad settlement.
Eventhough Obama claims that BP will be held responsible for the cost of clean-up they might be liable for a maximum of 75 million according to the Oil Pollution Act from 1990. Obviously the oil industry had a lot of saying in this law and as usual the US taxpayers will end up paying the larger part of the bill for the failure of large corporations. Another incentive for such organisations to take big risks knowing that they will not have to pay for their mistakes.
The oil leak is also turning into a PR nightmare for president Obama, like the rest of us Obama's goverment cannot control the outcome of this ongoing catastrophy, there is not bank account to send money to, there are no ready solutions to stop the deadly leak of oil into the ecosystem. The Obama administrations slow response the first days of the leak that occured on April 20, has been compared to the Bush administrations handling of the hurricane Katrina devastation in 2005. The Obama advisors chose to work behind the scenes the first days after the explosion to limit the damage by what they thought possible at that time, put a cap on the leak, and thereby avoiding to inform the public about the scope of the incident. Today we know that this is an industrial environmental catstrophy out of control and any scenario is possible. The government has published a website with information about the incident, for more information visit http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com

Comments

1 - I just wish they had really continued the effort back in the 70s... but then gasoline became cheap again and people forgot all about it.

2 - @Swede in Canada. I think we all (with a few exceptions from people in denial) agree on the fact that we need to invest more in clean energy.

3 - It's time to switch to alternative fuels. I'm sure your countrymen will realize this one day. Emoticon

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