“It’s as if a nuclear apocalypse has gone off in the Gulf,” he said. “The media is not telling the truth. No one is telling the truth. Let me tell you something. Yesterday on the beach where we work, my crew cleaned up seven hundred bags of oil. Today we went back and the beach was completely covered in oil, as if we had never been there. Today we carried away another seven hundred and fifty bags. Every day we clean up, then the tide brings it in again. The oil is everywhere, deep under the sand. Today I wanted to measure the oil, so I stuck my shovel into the sand and the oil was down there eight inches deep.”
Steve leaned in close, “Do you want to know how long my contract is to work down here?” he asked. “Three years.” His jaw muscles tightened as if he wanted to suck his words back into his mouth, but could not. “They are telling everyone it is not so bad, but clean-up will take many years. I am going to be here a long time.” Steve wiped a hand heavily over his eyes as if they were burning. “Let me tell you something. Today we saw three sharks washed up dead on the beach. The insides of their noses were black with oil. The membranes of their mouths were black with oil. Their eyes were black with oil.”
Steve is a war veteran who has seen a great deal of horror, but he seems to find this memory inordinately upsetting. “I am telling you this for the sake of our grandchildren,” he said. “We have an apocalypse going on and no one is paying enough attention.”
VO: This oil spill is a historical catastrophe that will have lasting effects on people worldwide. What remedial efforts would you say were the major hits and misses from BP?
AQ: A hit would be the $20B relief fund, although that was obviously coerced. Misses would be everything else. They have botched every aspect of the aftermath, from failed cleanup, to failed capping of the well, to failed PR whatever that’s worth. Disaster after disaster. I wouldn’t trust them to run a lemonade stand.
VO: What made you decide that an “in your face” exclamatory horn-blowing statement needed to be made?
AQ: Tony Hayward. His cool, calm, careless face in the congressional hearings made me want to shove a vuvuzela up his ass. This is the next best thing.
Rare 70’s Official BP Board Game (it’s the real thing, folks), promised all the ‘thrills of drilling’ offshore, with the first player to earn $120million being crowned the winner. Up to four would-be tycoons could compete at exploring for oil, building platforms and laying pipelines to their home countries. But BP Offshore Oil Strike players must also avoid the dreaded ‘hazard cards’, which state: ‘Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick clean-up costs. Pay $1million.’
A month ago, National Incident Commander Thad Allen issued an order granting the media “uninhibited access” to the areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It was routinely and often brazenly ignored.
Thirty days later, it should be said that the order essentially has no real-world meaning at all. Here’s Daniel Tencer at Raw Story:
Journalists who come too close to oil spill clean-up efforts without permission could find themselves facing a $40,000 fine and even one to five years in prison under a new rule instituted by the Coast Guard.