There’s plenty of blame to go around in this disaster. President Obama didn’t create the culture of deregulation and corruption that allowed BP to put profits before safety. On the other hand, that culture went on with business as usual during his administration. I don’t want to see posturing and bluff, but I wish the response to the crisis was faster and more effective.
Obama used the second half of his speech to talk about energy independence, and even dared to say that we would have to sacrifice to achieve our long-term goals. This is a challenge, if we are up for it. This is a challenge we should hold our leaders to. On NPR today I was listening to working people in Louisiana saying that the hold on deep-water drilling should be lifted. They are oil rig workers losing wages. We are all addicted to oil and involved in oil politics, if only as consumers.
BP is one ticking bomb that went off. There are other rigs out there, pipelines, aging nuclear plants. Change won’t be easy but what alternative do we have?
I’m not an engineer, I don’t know if there is a better way to stop the damage than BP’s slow and suspect response. They haven’t shown trustworthiness. They just talk about money as if that could undo the damage. I fear that we didn’t send in the Marines to cap the oil because the Marines couldn’t do it. We’re stuck with the corporation that caused the mess.
Finally, are we doing all we can to contain the oil? That’s what the citizens of the Gulf Coast need to see. We need to stop the damage before anyone can be made whole.
TEXT OF THE SPEECH: At Americablog, here.