Posts Tagged ‘Louisiana oil spill’


Why haven’t I written about this earlier?

Well, it isn’t like I haven’t tried.

But every time I do, I go into a rant.

You didn’t come here to read my rants.

At least I don’t think so.

This oil spill issue has me totally livid.

Part of this can be blamed on the Bush administration. More specifically, it can be blamed on Dick Cheney’s energy task force that got rid of the requirement for the acoustic switches that could be used to shut of an oil well in an emergency situation. The switches cost about $500,000, but the oil companies just couldn’t afford that.

But I’m not being fair here.

Since the spill has happened, the progressive, green, and hip Obama administration has not stepped up to the plate. They refuse to hold BP accountable, and allow them to have virtually full control over the attempts to shut off the oil well.

Now, I’m a Democrat. I voted for Obama. I probably will do so again.

But this is pathetic.

James Carville expresses these sentiments better than I can.

I wish the president had been more engaged.

Instead, he fumbled along. Why? I asked myself.

Well, in the end, I’m left with the view that I have long possessed about how things really work in this country. It is far from a rosy scenario. It goes something like this:

I’ve known all along that the US government was controlled by big corporations. That is the story of the US political economy for a very long time. Essentially, it matters  only a little bit about which party is in control. The big boys will have their say.

What’s the solution to this?

I can tell you it’s not just voting.

Voting is the least that can be done.

We have to be engaged as citizens.

Unfortunately, the level of civic engagement in this country is astoundingly low.

People are both demoralized and distrusting, and in that environment, only cynicism can reign.

But at some point, we’ve got to say we’ve got a stake in this. Otherwise, we’re doomed.

I used to spend time on the Outer Banks of North Carolina every summer. I really loved it there. I would walk several miles a day on the beach, where I’d see all sorts of seabirds, fisherman casting their lines into the surf, and occasionally would see dolphins and porpoises cavorting just offshore.

The oil will be there as it follows the loop current up the Eastern Seaboard. It will certainly have an effect on that landscape.

And when I think about it a little more, I wonder why we, as American citizens, didn’t demand a more rational energy policy? In hindsight, we all look like fools.

Let’s hope we don’t continue down that road with egg on our faces.

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