Cry for an oil spill
Cry for an oil spill
You wonder when we as a country will ever learn.”
That's a quote from blogger John Atchison in his Helium piece on the latest oil spill disaster in our country.
Last week, a million gallons of oil spilled into the Kalamazoo River in southwest Michigan. My wife grew up on that river. She recalls a childhood watching the ducks, egrets, and fish that populated the river just out her back door. We were married right along the river on a warm day in July fourteen years ago. For us, it was a symbol of the flow and continuity of life. My wife sobbed as we watched the news reports about the spill, knowing it may or may not converge into Lake Michigan and that the clean up is expected to take months.
When will our leaders learn? One year after the House passed the ACES bill and addressed a cap on carbon in a comprehensive climate and energy bill, here’s where we stand on the hit list:
- 100 days after the Gulf Oil Disaster, clean-up workers are digging up to their elbows in oil on Grand Isle while BP tries yet another kill on the well.
- Three delayed Senate attempts at a comprehensive climate and clean energy bill.
- A coal mine disaster that killed 29 people in West Virginia; and Dirty Coal still calling for a change in regulations.
- A weak, hurried Senate bill with no cap on carbon and a BP accountability measure that is already being chided and attacked by polluters and their Senate backers for fears that removing the cap on oil companies’ liability for spills will harm small and medium sized oil companies.
- A group of legislators hell-bent on gutting Clean Air Act authority, thanks our old friend Senator Lisa Murkowski.
Murkowski doesn’t want to stop until the Clean Air Act has no authority over regulating greenhouse gases. She told Politico:
You attack it at all fronts. You go the judicial route. You go the legislative route. I think this is important to make sure we are looking at all avenues.”
These are a few reasons why the climate movement needs to dig in and express our frustration to our senators when return home this month for recess. They need to hear the tough questions about why they failed to produce a comprehensive climate and energy bill and why they must stop these senseless attacks on the Clean Air Act, our only resource we currently have to fight climate change.
All this says to me that Big Oil and Dirty Coal doesn’t seem to have to worry about accountability. They make mistakes that cost us in lives lost, resources damaged, and the status quo for dirty fossil fuels left intact. Get some heat for your catastrophes? No sweat, pressure a few legislators to stop any threat from having you maintain business as usual. The Senate doesn’t want to seem to learn that a push towards renewable energy resources can help avoid events like these recent catastrophes, along with the benefits of tackling climate change, creating millions of new jobs... you know, the good stuff we’ve been talking about for three years now.
Meanwhile, a few trucks are parked in open lots in southwest Michigan, sucking oil off the top of a really beautiful, tree-lined river.
Photo: Oil spill cleanup in Ceresco, Michigan courtesy of Mic Stoltz, Creative Commons. All rights reserved.