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BP Blocking Media Access

June 15, 2010

Back during the campaign, the kids and I did a little door-to-door for President Obama, and I still support him.  Even after the dreadful health care ‘negotiations’ to pharmaceutical and insurance corporations, I still choose to believe he is not a corporatist, and has a little of the populist from his rhetoric within him.  I choose to believe he is more savvy behind the scenes than outward appearances suggest – and that he has the right heart and mind for these difficult times.   I certainly don’t think he needs to hang out down on the Gulf to prove he’s on top of this.      However.    It’s getting harder.  And the Ron Paul-ers are looking smarter.

I don’t understand why Pres. Obama is allowing BP to control scientists’ access to the gushing pipe, and media access to the damage. Flights below 3000′ are not allowed over the spill in Louisiana, if reporters or photographers are present, as per BP’s orders. BP is blocking access to spill workers and to the public beaches. They still have not allowed independent scientists enough access to get a true estimate of the amount of oil pumping into our oceans every day. BP has lied at every step of the tragedy so far, and their concern with covering their asses trumps all other considerations. Why are we rolling over and allowing them to dictate the terms of information release? Why are the Coast Guard and local sheriffs reporting to BP in many cases? Why have we not even been able to stop their use of chemical dispersants? These are widely believed to poison beneficial bacteria – which otherwise would be helping to break down the oil, and have diffused the oil into below-surface plumes (Look Ma! Fewer surface & shore pics!) more insidious to plankton and bottom life, the sustainers of all other ocean creatures, making it even harder to clean up. These are not the actions of a company concerned with righting a wrong, but with covering the appearance of it.

I know we are in over our heads here, and have allowed private companies to create risks too big for the government to step in and solve in the event of catastrophic failure. I know we are dependent on big oil to get the gusher plugged, and dependent on big oil to fuel our society. But we surely have more sway over the situation than this. Corporations are not people. I heartily support capital punishment for pathological corporations, provided we cushion the transition for the well-meaning individuals within it with unemployment funds, retraining, etc. Can we revoke the charter of a British company doing business in the U.S. and take control of all U.S. based assets as payment for cleaning our soiled oceans?

Why are they still in charge?

Efforts to Limit the Flow of Spill News
Running the corporate blockade at Louisiana’s crude-covered beaches
BP Limits photos of Dead Marine Life
Why is BP choosing a less effective, more toxic dispersant produced by company with close ties?
Dispersant blowing onto nearby farms, suspected of crop damage
BP Exec – media blackout confirmation
BP Restricts media access to beach and workers despite admin assurances

What’s Really in BP’s Oil Spill Dispersants?
The Spill, The Scandal and the President
New evidence undermines latest BP-White House estimate of spill size
BP Call Center Operator admits, “We’re a diversion”

Bayou Christmas 136We spent last winter’s solstice on Grand Isle, where many of the reports are coming from. I’m grateful to have seen it. We saw dolphins, cranes, herons, loads of mullet fish we chased up an inlet with a rope draped across the water, all of us laughing, them jumping and bumping our toes. The beaches were lined up already with big berms – sand-stuffed 6′ tall rubber tubes – and oil derricks nod irritatingly offshore. There are Corps of Engineer jetties breaking the surf ahead of the beach to prevent erosion. The whole area had a shifting, adapting feel to it – as if the roads would be swallowed by sea anytime. The long, long bridge to Grand Isle wanders out in an S curve that appears to have changed its directions several times in the building of it. We really enjoyed the unusual people there, with their words that lean all directions so you never can get a hang of the accent.  Seafood was an obvious primary source of income for many, many people in the area, the roadside filled with stands with tubs of fresh shrimp. Everyone who lives here chose it – or comes from people who chose it – for the fish, or the oil, or the ocean itself. It is a long way from anywhere.  And I can’t imagine the despair they are facing.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Leslie permalink
    October 18, 2010 10:30 pm

    Oh my, Cami, do I ever miss you! I came here today to your blog to catch up with your on-the-road adventures which I seriously neglected while you were away. Though please know that I think and thought of you very often, and even told people I know about your adventure, and even tried to get you an RV before you left – but that didn’t work out.

    I don’t know how you did all this. You fascinate and amaze me! I’m going to read some more now…
    I’ll comment some more too. Sure would have been fun to have you in the office during the (many) Obama-traumas of the past couple of years. I feel exactly as you do – haven’t quite given up but … but… wasn’t there supposed to be some change here? And yet those old repubs think there has just been TOO MUCH! and they will never again vote for ‘such a leftie’! OMG.

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