The Iraq and Afghanistan occupations rage on with no national marches in the US in sight, even while a majority of students are available to participate on summer holiday. In Afghanistan the Obama drone attacks kill civilians a third of the time. On top of all this, “the United States must reserve the right to act unilaterally” according to Obama administration’s first National Security Strategy just like what George W. Bush’s administration said. But apparently there’s no time to organize a national protest in a major city, something akin to protesting the Iraq invasion before it began.
The gusher of oil coming out of the Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico is officially the worst oil spill in US history. It’s not hyperbole to call it a gusher. Images from the live camera feed tell the tale.
Obama’s limited moratorium on deepwater drilling doesn’t seem to cover BP’s next oil rig named “Atlantis” from going online soon. Atlantis is said to have 5X more oil than “Horizon”, the rig which blew up and is currently leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico apparently out of control. Atlantis will produce 8.4 million gallons of oil per day. And we know how well BP handles problems: BP is actively damaging recovery efforts by preventing cleanup workers from wearing respirators and ignoring cleanup workers complaints of illness. The wise thing to do is stop all of BP’s rigs since BP refuses to do their work safely. Lawmakers should pass laws that make BP pay 100% of recovery effort costs (yes, despite BP saying they intend to clean up “every drop” of oil from the Gulf’s shores). Strong punitive laws keeps corporate power in check. BP was running Horizon without a remote control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations, Brazil and Norway, as a last resort protection against underwater spills. The Wall Street Journal points out that American law doesn’t require this switch. Regardless of the efficacy of the switch, you can’t engage an uninstalled failsafe device.
Lax enforcement of extant regulations helped get us to where we are now with Horizon, apparently leading to the deaths of 11 oil rig workers when Horizon exploded. According to McClatchy newspapers, following on are BP’s inadequate responses and inadequate training of personnel tasked with cleaning up their own oil spill. What are the odds that Atlantis received similarly shoddy setup inspection work? What systemic incentive does BP have to train Atlantis personnel better than they apparently trained Horizon personnel?
Yet there’s no large-scale organized outcry from the Left.
Update: Others are noticing how the Left gives Obama a pass on environmental degradation.
Update: The New York Times reports that BP knew of the Horizon’s problems almost a year ago. The NYT says federal regulators only required under 10 minutes to approve BP’s request.