I live in LA. There is a lot of oil in LA. On Wilshire BLVD., one of the main drags here, near the La Brea Tar Pits, there are an unknown number of buildings that are simply false facades. Every couple of days, an oil truck comes by and hauls off the oil pumped up from the well hidden by the facade. There's an oil well in the middle of Beverly Hills high school. On the road out to LAX, there are acres of hillside that are dotted with oil wells and mumps that look like those little plastic water sipping storks that you can set up to bob at the edge of water glasses. You folks simply aren't used to having a lot of oil around, and having it neatly managed.
I confess, I'd rather not have it in the High School.
Too bad we can't so something a little more productive in a month than pointing fingers and placing blame. There will be plenty of time for that later.
By by this you mean that a pointing finger at BP and placing blame on them is something that should be put off is unproductive or should be put off, I guess I'd like to know why. Clearly when BP tells us that there is a leak of 1000 barrels a day and our estimates, once they give us access to their video feed, suggests that the minimum is ten times that and the maximum (estimate as of 5/27) is 19,000 barrels a day, it seems reasonably clear that BP has given considerable though to deflecting fingers and to pointing them in other directions. Perhaps you might recall their finger pointing at two subcontractors within days. The subcontractors thought that considerable time, effort and money should be spent doing the same thing. They pointed at BP and at each other.
The Republican Party said we shouldn't point fingers and, coincidentally, so does Mike. The Republicans have doubtless taken their cue from Mike in this case because Mike is a calm sort of guy, and tends to be the voice of moderation in all things. The Republicans have understood this and accepted some of the Oil that the Oil companies have clearly poured upon the palms of the congress. I'm sorry; I meant the waters.
While there will, indeed, be plenty of time to assign blame later, it is likely that the spreading of the oil upon the palms will make the business of accurate memory somewhat more slippery. Therefore, the more quickly the facts are established, the better. The longer the delay between the spill and the establishment and apportionment of blame, the more slippery the process will become. It seems wise to remember that those who will be ruined by the spill will be ruined now, and the companies involved will be able to put off paying, if the past is any measure, for a generation of two, sometimes past the lifetime of those originally damaged by the spill. Those of later generations will seem less critically wounded, and the cost of the lawyers will simply be a cost of doing business. Great for the boughten politicians and those who hold stock in BP, not so great for those plunged into poverty or who may die as a result of the spill. Not so good for those who must pay the increased cost of the fish or who must pay for the foodstuffs grown in fields watered by petroleum instead of rain evaporated from the gulf, and who must wonder about what sort of interesting genetic surprises are coming up with food-chain for them and their grandchildren.
This should be of no concern at all to Mike, because he believes that environmentalists are idiots, and we should be using DDT instead of sugar on our Wheaties in the morning. Yum.
Those of us who are environmentalists may actually believe that we do need to make some changes, and that not only do we need to make some changes, but we also need to hold the oil companies and the chemical companies responsible. We should not privatize the profits and socialize the losses, the way so many of our bankers and industrialists want us to continue doing. If BP does ugly things to the pooch, then it must make the pooch whole as its next order of business, entirely whole and happy.
And BP ought not have enough leverage to bribe its way out of doing so.