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How do you clean up an oil spill? BP is now trying paper towels

June 19 2010 | Oil Pollution, Jim's Blog,
by Jim

In the seemingly never-ending stream of hard-to-believe strategies for addressing the now 62,000,000 gallons of oil that has spilled BP is now turning to... paper towels.

Sure. Go ahead. Laugh.

Then cry.

The Exxon Valdez was 11,000,000 gallons of oil. The BP spill is coming up on six times the Exxon Valdez.

Those figures have become abstract. We don't even know what they mean anymore. For the last two months all we've seen is oil spilling, environments being damaged, local economies cliffing, fisheries becoming toxic... the damage is hard to fathom. And now we're using... paper towels.

Listening to our government and BP speak about this issue we hear phrases like "our main goal is to get the oil off the surface." You may think that equates to "oil out of the Gulf of Mexico", I don't. I hear they are trying desperately to get it... off the surface... off CNN, off YouTube. Sinking as much of 62,000,000 gallons of oil to get it "out of sight, out of mind." That moves the disaster, it doesn't address the disaster.

President Obama, at the grotesquely obvious prodding of his media handlers, is rolling up his sleeves and injecting some school yard "ass kicking" language into his normal, intellectual, Jeffersonian rhetoric. It feels good to have a President that is finally engaged... or at least seems engaged. Why did it take 60 days for this to happen?

What we want is not solutions, like paper towels, that make us laugh.

What we want is leadership in two areas. First, we want this spill cleaned up. That includes ALL of the oil spilled not just the oil BP couldn't sink with toxic agents such as Corexit. Second we want leadership. The people of this country should look at the government, not BP, for action. This is a "We the people..." issue not a "We the shareholders..." issue. We will never control a for-profit oil company. We CAN control our government. We must continue to demand movement and leadership towards a future not tied to higher risks for lower returns. We must not stand for our oil addiction going on for decade after decade after decade. What can you do? Hold our government accountable, here are five ways to connect on this topic.
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