It is with sadness and a good deal of anger that I write this article. In part it was the events that Hurricane Katrina put into action that my wife and I are now living in Mississippi. I saw with my own eyes the destruction that Katrina brought to the region. I was horrified, I had no idea what havoc a storm could bring. We live about 60 miles inland, but even here, five years later, Katrina scars are evident.

The Gulf Of Mexico may be viewed by many as just a holiday playground, a mecca for recreational fishing and vacationers, while that is true, it also serves a much larger economic purpose. It is estimated that 70% of the shrimp we eat come from this area. A similar percentage of Oysters are harvested from the gulf.

The spin doctors are quick to point out that only 11 people died in the well explosion, Katrina claimed more than a thousand lives.

The problem with comparing Katrina and the current disaster is not about the body count, it is about the economic and ecosystem damage. My wife Jan has several family friends that are involved in the seafood industry. To put it mildly, the are ‘looped’.

Grand Isle is usually a boom town on the Memorial Day weekend, it is a deserted wasteland. There are no vacationers, the only folks in the area are members of the press.

The Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989 pales into insignificance with this latest one. Thirty years after the Exxon Valdez spill Prince William Sound is still recovering, and the amount of crude oil spilled was way less than what we are currently dealing with.

Are BP trying their best? That is an interesting question. My friend TJ Hart over at The Sky 97.3 managed to jam up the stations switchboard for 3 hours when he revealed that BP had ‘bussed’ people in to make it look good for President Obama’s visit of the area.

BP are trying their best to resolve the problem, my question is a simple one. Why was there no solution on day one? Surely if you are drilling almost a mile deep in the ocean you have a plan?

Even more troubling was information that The Sky 97.3 released, and I trust TJ, he does not say anything unless he has huge amounts of back up. BP stopped the Top Kill operation while president Obama was in the area. They were concerned that the entire operation might literally blow up in their face. That was the solution to why they closed it down for 16 hours.

Top Kill did not work, what is next? Apparently BP are planning yet another attempt at putting a containment vessel over the leak, but seeing that the first two attempts did not work, I have doubts that this one will.

Does BP care? One has to wonder about that. If numbers that I have read are accurate, the company makes $60 million in profit a day, dealing with this minor issue is chump change!

Simon Barrett

Be Sociable, Share!