Oil Slick in the Gulf of Mexico May 24th View [Detail], originally uploaded by NASA Goddard Photo and Video.
This is what they don't want us to know. For more than a month now, BP has been more more successful in obstructing public awareness of the full extent of the Gulf oil spill than in bringing it under control. Their public relations campaign must be working. If Americans really understood the full scope of this slowly unfolding disaster, people would be rioting in the streets.
And the blame, as Bob Herbert comments in today's NYT, goes far beyond BP.
No one has a handle on how much oil is gushing out of control into the gulf. No one understands the environmental impact of the hundreds of thousands of gallons of chemical dispersants that BP is injecting into the gulf. No one has any idea how far this awful stain on the environment will spread.Good questions. Don't hold your breath waiting for BP to answer them.
President Obama should have taken charge of the response to the oil spill — which he called a “potentially unprecedented” environmental calamity — from jump street. He should have called in the very best minds and operatives from the corporate and scientific worlds and imposed an emergency plan of action — to be carried out by BP and all others who might be required. Instead, after all this time, after more than a month of BP’s demonstrated incompetence, the administration continues to dither.
Incredibly, until The Times blew the whistle in an article on Monday, environmental waivers were still being offered for oil drilling in the gulf. What will it take for sanity to prevail? How many people have to die or face ruin, and how much of nature has to be despoiled before we rein in the cowboys of these runaway corporations?