As I watched with the rest of the world as oil slowly covers my beloved Gulf of Mexico, I suffered with sadness and a festering disgust. Living on the gulf coast of Florida, this issue takes center stage. So, I assume that everybody feels the same way. However, today I read an article that suggested a general apathy in America about this catastrophe. Filled with anger and an immediate desire to speak up; here is what I know must be said.
The spill and the behavior that led up to this disaster is despicable. BP knew that it was drilling at a depth where their known safety abilities and countermeasures were not viable. Still, they drilled to that depth anyway. Why? Greed - plain and simple greed. Many news reports cited that there is a safety valve that many European drillers consider mandatory for this type of ocean floor drilling. BP is fully aware of this technology and chose not to use it because it would reduce their profits. Somebody at BP actually made the decision that this type of catastrophe was an acceptable risk for the profit at stake.
We cannot allow our politicians to let BP off the hook like they later did with Exxon years after the Valdez wreck. If you recall, Exxon was slapped with heavy fines and reparations after the Valdez disaster only to have their penalties reduced years later once the public's attention faded.
Now that the rig failure has happened, two actions must be taken without question. 1. BP must suffer such severe expenses and penalties that will discourage any company from taking this type of reckless chance with our environment ever again. And, 2. We must to pass new laws and regulations not just on the oil drilling industry, but on the relationships that our politicians and political organizations have with these mega rich corporations.
Write the President and your representatives in Congress. Tell them you want serious action. Tell them, in no uncertain terms, that if they don't create more strict regulations and pass strong punitive laws to discourage any such reckless corporate behavior, you will elect somebody who will. Take this step, and the world will know how much Americans care.