I was disturbed yesterday by the timing of the Alaska delegation's most recent plea to start drilling in ANWR. Although Sen. Murkowski was gracious enough to let out a press release early last week, regretting the loss of life in the oil rig fire, neither Don Young nor Mark Begich did that. Before we really know yet what happened down there, our delegation - once again - did the wrong thing.
They aren't the only people that don't get how serious this is getting to be, though. Craig Medred, having been dispatched to the Gulf by the Alaska Dispatch, wrote an article centered around how clueless locals on the Louisiana seashore are to the shit storm that is about to engulf them:
The floating, island-size mess of crude from the geyser coming out of a BP wellhead below the sunken Deepwater Horizon with its 11 dead crew was no longer just a lurking, offshore threat. The much-anticipated disaster appeared at last to becoming real.
Oil spill, dudes! Let's rock and roll!
That this would seem cause for celebration, or anything even close to it, was almost sickening to someone who stood on the beaches of Prince William Sound when they were coated in the stinking, messy goo of the Exxon Valdez. Frankly, having been witness to that, I want to see BP win the war against the crude its accident left spouting a mile deep in the ocean off the Louisiana coast.
Medred gets more caustic, as he observes aspects of how people seem to be reacting to the possibility of a wave of death hitting their shores:
Well, BP has put a cancer on the Gulf of Mexico, and the most effective treatment at the moment is nuking it, which seems to be working. The oil spill, like a cancer, seems to be shrinking as this is written. It appears to be shrinking despite constant replenishment from that oil-well blowout still spouting deep in the ocean. This ought to be cause for at least a little optimism, but optimism doesn't seem to sell all that well.
Or maybe some people think that being optimistic will make it harder to bite multi-million dollar chunks out of BP's thick corporate hide. Here, as with the Exxon Valdez, a lot is about money. BP was trying to make a ton of it by drilling for oil a mile deep in the ocean, a risky business, but the London-based multinational corporation has gotten stinking rich engaging in risky business, including drilling in Alaska's Arctic.
Anyway, Craig is pumping out more words from the north shore of the Gulf than at any time since he left the Anchorage Daily News. As it was during Craig's heyday, one has to sift through the verbiage to find the occasional gem.
Others have similarly droll takes on this. Medred is one of the best I've read. The worst has been Rush Limbaugh, who seems to have found a new source for oxycontin, as he spews conspiracy theories out of the ocean bottom that no dispersant has yet found a way to stanch:
Now, lest we forget, ladies and gentlemen, the carbon tax bill, cap and trade that was scheduled to be announced on Earth Day. I remember that. And then it was postponed for a couple of days later after Earth Day, and then of course immigration has now moved in front of it. But this bill, the cap-and-trade bill, was strongly criticized by hardcore environmentalist wackos because it supposedly allowed more offshore drilling and nuclear plants, nuclear plant investment. So, since they're sending SWAT teams down there, folks, since they're sending SWAT teams to inspect the other rigs, what better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I'm just noting the timing here.
That was earlier in the week. Limbaugh seems to have backed off. But now, he's falling into the same zone Medred is noticing - dissing the likelihood of the seriousness of the spill:
image - 2006 Lebanon oil spill