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I’m really mad.  I’m mad that this happened and even more angry that BP was not ready for a crisis like this.  Anything that can break will, and in BP’s case they were more prepared to displace the blame than fix the damages.  Now, 82.8-102.6 million gallons of oil are in the Gulf of Mexico (compare that to the 10.8 million gallons from the Exxon Valdez spill).  YUCK!

I’m also unimpressed with BP’s solutions to clean up the spill.  It seems like the best minds are at work trying to retrieve the lost oil while everyone else is scrambling for a way to discuss the environmental concerns.  Now 31% of the Gulf is off-limits to fishing and we haven’t seen any plans that scientists can get behind.  Even Bill Nye the Science Guy is speaking out against BP!

Image from Slate.com

We need to seize the oil-covered opportunity here and make a serious move towards clean energy.  New York Times Columnist, Bob Herbert, wrote on May 31st:

However and whenever the well gets capped, what we really need is leadership that calls on the American public to begin coping in a serious and sustained way with an energy crisis that we’ve been warned about for decades. If the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history is not enough to bring about a reversal of our epic foolishness on the energy front, then nothing will.

Herbert’s right, if this isn’t enough to bring about change, what will?  How much of our enviroment do we have to destroy before people wake up?  This is President Obama’s chance to fulfil his campaign promises of moving the U.S. away from its oil dependency, create green jobs, and move us towards cleaner more sustainable types of energy.  It would be incredibly difficult to rally our exhausted Congress to regulate carbon as needed, so I suggest that the President rally the people.  On May 28th, New York Times Columnist, Thomas Friedman described this best when he wrote:

This oil leak is not President Obama’s fault. Stopping the spill is BP’s responsibility; it both caused it and it has the best access to the best technology to plug it. Of course, as the nation’s C.E.O., Mr. Obama has to oversee the cleanup, and he has been on top of that. His most important job, though, is one he has yet to take on: shaping the long-term public reaction to the spill so that we can use it to generate the political will to break our addiction to oil. In that job, the most important thing Mr. Obama can do is react to this spill as a child would — because it is precisely that simple gut reaction, repeated over and over, speech after speech, that could change our national conversation on energy.

Friedman asks some good questions too:

Why would we want to stay dependent on an energy source that could destroy so many birds, fish, beaches and ecosystems before the next generation has a chance to enjoy them? Why aren’t we doing more to create clean power and energy efficiency when so many others, even China, are doing so? And why can’t you even mention the words “carbon tax,” when the carbon we spill into the atmosphere every day is just as dangerous to our future as the crude oil that has been spilling into the gulf?

Right now, people are angry at BP, but a majority of the American people don’t trust the government.  President Obama needs to reconnect with candidate Obama and inspire us once again.  He needs to lead the American people and help us put the burden on Congress to make real change and not just reform.

Oh we’re mad, but are we ready for action?  I’ve already written my legislators about the BP spill, but I’m ready to do more.  It’s estimated that oil will continue to pump into the Gulf through August, this gives Americans enough time to organize and demand that our Congressmen end their dependency on the oil lobby’s money so the US can end its dependency on oil.  If we don’t demand clean energy now, then our anger and attention will be forgotten until something even worse happens.

We can’t waste this opportunity, enough is enough.

One thought on “The BP Oil Spill Opportunity

  1. Hey some great points you made here. Keep on this subject because the public is really mad about this spill and all the long term effects. Email the president how you feel.

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