The Skywriter

Weekly roundup 6/4/10: Day 46 of the BP oil disaster


Weekly roundup 6/4/10: Day 46 of the BP oil disaster


I really, really wish I didn't have to lead today's roundup with more on the BP oil disaster, but since the oil spill is now in its 46th day, I'm afraid I have no choice. I also wish I didn't have to nag you again about Lisa Murkowski (R-Exxon/BP/Shell/etc.) and her seek-and-destroy mission against the Clean Air Act, but you deal with the senators you have, not the ones you wish you had. Thankfully it's not all doom-and-gloom in Roundupville: this week we heard some of the strongest language in favor of a comprehensive climate and energy bill from President Obama than we've heard in awhile.

Despite BP's best efforts to keep the media from covering the true extent of the mess they've made -- including hiring a former Dick Cheney staffer(!) as their spokesperson -- the truth is starting to come out:

"When we found this dolphin it was filled with oil. Oil was just pouring out of it. It was the saddest darn thing to look at," said a BP contract worker who took the Daily News on a surreptitious tour of the wildlife disaster unfolding in Louisiana.

His motive: simple outrage.

"There is a lot of coverup for BP. They specifically informed us that they don't want these pictures of the dead animals. They know the ocean will wipe away most of the evidence. It's important to me that people know the truth about what's going on here," the contractor said.

"The things I've seen: They just aren't right. All the life out here is just full of oil. I'm going to show you what BP never showed the President."

Powerful images of the damage BP has caused to the wildlife along the Gulf Coast are beginning to emerge. The AP published today a set of just such images. Heartbreaking...infuriating...take your pick of adjectives:

Oil-covered brown pelican

See a full interactive slideshow at Huffington Post.

You know a story has been going on waaay too long when the Daily Show crew can take one of their routine two-week breaks, come back, and still do an up-to-date piece about said story. Via Treehugger, here's Jon Stewart's takedown of BP for the 760 OSHA safety violations it has racked up (props to ABC News for some good reporting!):

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Cenac - The Spilling Fields - Oil Leak Containment Ideas
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

And now on to that other ongoing environmental disaster: Lisa Murkowski. As 1Sky blogger Andy Silber told us earlier this week, the vote on Murkowski's "Dirty Air Act" (a resolution of congressional "disapproval" of the EPA's endangerment finding on greenhouse gases) has been set for next Thursday -- and the stakes are very high:

This vote is seen as a test of potential support for compressive clean energy and climate legislation, including the Kerry-Lieberman American Power Act. She would rather have the EPA act alone than whatever makes it through the political process, exactly the opposite of what she claims. If her proposal gets more than 40 votes, then many will wonder if Kerry-Lieberman, or any other comprehensive climate bill, has enough support to get past a filibuster.

So this resolution doesn't just have to lose -- it has to lose big. Every senator needs to know that we’re watching and we’ll consider a vote for Murkowski’s repeal the endangerment finding as a vote to do nothing rather than tackling the problems of coal-powered electricity; to rollback gains on fuel efficiency; to sacrifice our children’s future to the altar of artificially cheap energy. Contact your Senators and tell them to vote 'NO' on Senator Murkowski’s repeal of the endangerment finding.

Could the BP oil disaster actually help pass a comprehensive climate and energy bill? Joe Romm at Climate Progress points out that President Obama already seems to be pivoting "from spill-to-bill." He quotes the speech the President gave at Carnegie Mellon University earlier this week:

The votes may not be there right now, but I intend to find them in the coming months. I will make the case for a clean energy future wherever I can, and I will work with anyone from either party to get this done. But we will get this done. The next generation will not be held hostage to energy sources from the last century. [Emphasis added.]

This is one of the strongest declarations of support the President has made in favor of a climate/energy bill. The climate movement (including 1Sky) has been urging Obama for months to lead boldly on climate, and now he finally seems to be moving in that direction. But as Joe says:

Now the President just needs to do this a few times a week for months, including a prime time speech and personal lobbying.


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