Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Oilgarch Cometh

I named the monster spill "The Oilgarch." In this early graphic it looks to me like a slimy creature with a human head emerging from the sea to devour the extended hand of the Gulf Coast. Kind of the way I picture oil execs. Of course, it's grown since then, as this alarming animation shows, yet it still presents an almost human face getting ready to gobble up the shoreline.

Initial reports were sadly much too optimistic. The photos of the early stages were scary enough but as the slick spreads it's clear this is a disaster that will end up making the Exxon-Valdez look like a tiny oil leak in your driveway. Latest estimates indicate there's at least 11.1 million gallons of oil floating in the slick and at the rate it's growing it could quickly become the equivalent of Exxon-Valdez every two days until the leaks are stopped -- and that's the best case scenario.

Also, I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that the contractor responsible for faulty construction traces to Halliburton. In fact, the lax safety requirements overall are traceable to Bush era crony contracting. And BP says they didn't have better safety measures prepared because no one could have predicted this disaster, except of course, environmentalists have been warning about just such events for decades.

Meanwhile, fishing has already been suspended, the weather is turning to thwart the cleanup, and it seems clear that much wildlife will be lost when the slick hits the sands of the Gulf.

As has been said by many others, anybody who has ever chanted Drill Baby, Drill should be required to go there right now and get ready to start helping with the clean-up. And maybe Sarah Palin could get down there with some of her mandatory bendy straws and start sucking up some of that "God Given natural resource" herself. I'm sure her God won't mind if she spits instead of swallows.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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