Friday, April 30, 2010

Mayday on May Day

Things are looking pretty grim in Louisiana. Our economy is based largely on oil and fishing. This time of year birds nest and fish spawn. Now oil has entered the fragile marshes and wetlands. The state has closed all commercial and recreational fishing east of the Mississippi River. The oil is a heavier and more damaging crude than was previously thought, and it's spewing out faster than earlier believed. A leaked classified document from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Emergency Ops starts off "The following is not public" and then goes on to speculate that if the pipe further deteriorates the current rate could multiply tenfold. At long last the government is losing patience with BP, who seemed to be flying solo for a week after the explosion. Sadly British Petroleum's exploration plan for the Deepwater Horizon well states that it was "unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities." It also says that wildlife refuges and beaches were too far away to ever be effected by a spill. They were wrong.
Large numbers of people are now talking about the effects lasting years instead of months. Some, including me, fear it could be more like decades and generations. I hope I'm wrong. Plus it's May Day, a day celebrating workers. Fishermen are being economically forced to apply for clean up work from the same company, BP, who put them out of business and ruined their lives.

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