They’ve tried fire and robots and domes and booms and drones and boxes and rosary beads and even panty hose stuffed with human hair but so far nothing has slowed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from creeping towards our Southern Coast like a drunken lobbyist staggering towards a free seafood buffet. And almost as ugly. This maritime miasma promises to be the most monumental attack of sludge to hit American shores since Ann Coulter’s most recent book.
Hard to say what frightens Gulf Coast residents more; the toxic slick bearing down on their shore or the Administration’s guarantee that our government is poised and ready to swoop in with federal assistance. It worked so well after Katrina. The kind of news that prompts residents to wake screaming- bathed in sweat- from nightmares of FEMA loading trucks full of mutant hair sausages never to be delivered. And ice. But never let it be said that Congress doesn’t know how to exploit a crisis. They’ve leaped into action and appointed a panel.
The one positive to come out of this amphibious affliction (besides never hearing another New Orleans restaurant say they are out of blackened redfish) is we can expect to hear a lot fewer of those strident rallying cries of “Drill Baby Drill” this election year. They’ve already given way to the more muted “Cap, Baby, Cap,” and threaten to digress into “Tax, Baby, Tax.” Right now though, those responsible seem to be sticking like shrimp to otter fur with “Prevaricate, Baby, Prevaricate.”
BP, which apparently stands for Brainless Pinheads, first announced the seepage from the MC252 well (isn’t that cute) was barely a couple of drips. Nothing to worry about. More oil pooled on your average garage floor. Then it bounced up to 1,000 barrels a day, then 2,000 and now that we’re obviously in gushing territory, estimates are not really useful anymore. Numbers can be so misleading.
Chemicals were sprayed on the leak to disperse it, but that was curtailed because the dispersant might be doing more harm than good. They don’t know. Oh good. Turns out, these guys don’t know a lot. They won’t even say what’s in the dispersant because it’s proprietory. All they can reveal is its not harmful. However, if you do happen to get a smidgeon on your skin, you immediately want to flush it with a bleach bath. That they know.
You’d think a company that makes its living poking holes in the bottom of seas would have a plan to close them back up, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be wrong. Actually, you’d be half wrong. They do have means. Using technology they’re required to install when drilling in other countries. Not here though. We encourage voluntary participation. And let the industry write the regs. And then pray to the oil fairies.
Maybe this will signal an end to our bowing down to the fossil fuel gods. Maybe Obama will seize this reprehensible moment to carve out an anti carbon strategy and the whole country will rise as one and demand a national policy based on clean energies and shared sacrifice. Yeah. And maybe ring- tailed squirrel monkeys will replace hockey referees during playoff games. Its times like these that make you wish hari- kari had become a corporate CEO global tradition.
Will Durst is a San Francisco based political comic who often writes. This being a dazzling example.
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