Last May, barely a month after the “Deepwater Horizon” exploded off the coast of Louisiana, Right Wing cranks were already dismissing the expected environmental impact of the “spill” (see my video: “Where’s the oil?”). Now that the well has been capped (but not plugged or killed) and all that toxic dispersant has reduced the appearance of oil in the Gulf, despite all the TV commercials promising to stick it out “as long as it takes”, stories are already emerging of a company ready to get the Hell out of Dodge at the first opportunity… an opportunity that’s being handed to them by Republicans and a Conservative media again asking “Where’s the oil?”
We watched in agony for weeks as attempt after attempt to plug the well failed, until just two weeks ago when the well was finally, successfully capped… but not before nearly 175 million gallons of oil… almost SIXTEEN TIMES the Exxon Valdez spill… had leaked into the Gulf.
Almost from Day One, BP started spraying the oil with “Corexit 9500″, a chemical dispersant that “breaks down” the oil, supposedly to reduce the amount of crude that reaches shore, minimizing the spill. But Corexit is highly toxic to marine life, and has *never* been used in this quantity before. Likewise, the quantity of oil isn’t reduced by using dispersants, it is simply spread out over a greater area. It also causes much of the oil to sink below the surface of the water so you can’t see it, creating (in essence) a second spill as large or larger than the spill we could see, just below the surface. And oil that has been thinned out spreads across a larger area and is harder to clean up. People like myself started to question the wisdom of allowing BP to use dispersants at all.
Once the well was capped and the remaining oil was either floating towards shore or had been thinned/sunk with Corexit, the water started to look “clean” again. And almost instantly, my “Where’s the oil?” video started receiving Comments pronouncing “Rush was right!”. You see, whether it’s Global Warming, evolution, or oil in the Gulf, if Republicans can’t see it, it doesn’t exist (“God” being the exception that proves the rule). They don’t “see” the oil in the Gulf, ergo, the Gulf must have “absorbed” it. Clearly, it had nothing to do with the 1.8 Million gallons of toxic chemicals dumped into the Gulf, or the millions of gallons of oil that had already washed up on shore. No, to Conservatives, if it “looks” okay, it must be okay. Well, not so fast:
Now, I was predicting that as soon as they had “capped” the well and were collecting the oil coming out of it, BP would slow-walk killing the well entirely as they tried to drain it of as much oil as they possibly could before they plugged it forever. Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be happening, as they appear to be on target to plug the well as early as next week. But my mistrust in human nature being what it is, I won’t be satisfied until they actually kill the well. We’ll see.
In any case, with Conservative nut-burgers like Limbaugh already declaring “victory” over environmentalists concerned with that toxic soup once known as The Gulf of Mexico, BP is already licking its chops over the possibility of an early exit out of the Gulf that saves them billions in clean-up costs. As the Republican governors of the Gulf Coast states are quick to reopen once restricted fishing areas, BP is pulling up “boom”… those tube-like spongy floating oil barriers… in protected fishing areas. Remember, the well has not been killed yet, and they will be attempting a procedure called the “static kill” this week that pumps mud & cement directly into the cap, plugging up the well. What happens if this fails and they can not recap the well? Oh, and how do they know the seafood in these areas is now safe to eat? The ‘smell’ test. I kid you not.
Crooks & Liars posted a video over the weekend from CNN asking Billy Nungesser, President of Plaquemines Parish, LA about reports that BP may try to pull up stakes early as a result of early signs of clearing water in the Gulf. Nungesser finds he must remind people that there are still millions of gallons of oil coating a thousand miles of beaches that still need to be cleaned up. Oil just below the surface, sunk with dispersants, either still remain to be washed up on shore, or will coat the bottom of the ocean, killing off plant life and any sea life that crawls along the ocean floor. That toxic soup in the Gulf is going to change the ecology of those waters for decades. But thanks to Republicans like Rush Limbaugh, if they can’t physically see the danger, it must not exist… not only meaning BP can leave the party early, but (expect this just after the mid-terms) Republicans will begin arguing that BP shouldn’t be forced to pay so much for a spill “that’s taking care of itself”.
Extra: From now until the mid-term elections, I will be ending each post with links to news stories reminding you what to expect if Republicans regain control of Congress in November, and/or why they shouldn’t be allowed to do so:
- Gingrich Suggests Taking Out The Remaining ‘Axis Of Evil’ Members: ‘We’re One Out Of Three’
- Department of Defense can’t account for 96 percent of money administered in Iraq reconstruction fund (between 2003-2007, $9.1 Billion just vanished).
- Deficit Fraud Shadegg (R-WI) Can’t Name A Single Program He Would Cut To Reduce The Deficit
- The “Let Them Eat Want Ads” Caucus (a look at all the Conservatives claiming people on unemployment are “lazy” and are simply “putting off looking for work”.)
- Speaking of which: Wamp (R-TN) Suggests Unemployed Are ‘Just Sitting Back Waiting’
Do we REALLY want these people back in charge?
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