WASHINGTON—The Obama administration, facing rising anger on the Gulf Coast over the loss of jobs and income from a drilling moratorium, said Monday that it would move quickly to release new safety requirements that would allow the reopening of offshore oil and gas exploration in shallow waters.
Every single oil rig now in existence or yet to come is an environmental catastrophe. Whether it blows up and destroys an entire ocean, or quietly sucks oil from under the crust to be burned in cars, these things are planet killers. As is everything, human and machine, that feeds on them. Which implicates me and everyone I know. The staunchest enviros I know all either drive a car, fly in planes, eat shipped food, or all of the above.
We all have oil on our hands, and though watching hundreds of thousands of barrels of the horrid shit pouring into the ocean, putrefying a million living creatures, is a daily punch to the face, that scale of devastation has been happening and will continue beyond the day the damn leak is plugged, if it ever is (current estimates say August). Every shiny new car, every plane ticket, every new gadget, heck every new plastic bag, has a consequence beyond reckoning.
Which isn’t to say there aren’t levels of culpability. There’s evidence that the good folks at BP knew of problems with the rig before the explosion. And even if they didn’t, their bumbling bullshit lack-of-contingency plan is enough to earn them, in my opinion, a luxury cruise into the gulf, a walk of the plank, and an invitation to swim back.
Since that’s too uncivilized and we should all go about being nice and polite while the horror gushes forth, let’s at least rally behind the fact that Obama appointed a commission to investigate BP, hoorah! But wait, one of the two directors of the committee investigating BP is on the board of ConocoPhillips and Dupont. Just like we have Wall Street crooks policing Wall Street, we have oil men investigating oil men. I’d wager the results of the investigation are as productive as that of Goldman Sachs.
This is why I have little love for Obama. Despite a clever marketing campaign that capitalized on hope, there really isn’t any reason to have any. Obama is a politician, and politicians don’t bite the hands that feed them – and we average citizens are certainly not the ones putting the big treats in their pantries.
And in case you think I’m being too hard on the guy, in the midst of all this, Obama is going ahead with plans to overturn the ban on commercial whaling. Ronald Reagan helped put that ban in place, and now Obama is quietly undoing it.
The survival mandate used to mean hunting, gathering, bonding in community. Now it means keeping your job, no matter what the cost, even if your job runs counter to your and/or life on the planet’s survival. That’s why we can have a president who laments the economic impact and promises a speedy recovery to residents as the most grotesque environmental catastrophe EVER continues to bloom.
It may not have any real effect, but at least we have Aziz Ansari to say what we’d like to.