Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tears of Rage?

Rep. Charles Melacon (D-LA) breaks down at a Congressional hearing about the oil spill:



I have no doubt that Mr. Melacon's expression of grief is sincere. But I suspect that it is more complex than meets the eye. Since 2004, oil and gas interests have contributed over $312,000 to him, and the overall contributions from the energy and natural resources sector equal nearly $550,000. In 2006, he worked for a bill that opened up the Gulf of Mexico for additional offshore drilling. He opposed the America Clean Energy and Security Act (cap-and-trade) and successfully stripped the FY 2010 budget of $30 billion in new taxes on oil and gas producers. (BP alone had $239 billion in revenue in 2009.)

Again, I'm not questioning the sincerity of Mr. Melacon's tears. But I can't help wondering whether there's disillusionment, guilt, and remorse mixed in with the grief. And I remain cynical that, when all is said and done, the votes of any Gulf Coast politician will change one bit.

The leak is not going to be plugged. Period. If it could have been, it would have been by now. Not even as feckless an organization as BP would begin with the operation that had the least chance of success. At the risk of sounding overly cool and detached, the odds of success decline with each ensuing attempt. The leak will be controlled when the relief wells are ready 30-60 days from now, and not before. The honest thing to do is to prepare people for that.

The Gulf Coast is reaping the whirlwind of thirty years of deregulation and federal hiring of industry insiders to oversee what little regulation there is. Having lived on the Gulf Coast, I have little doubt that politicians and people there supported this development. No one deserves what has happened and the ultimate responsibility for it lies with BP, as foreign as the word "responsibility" may be to them. But environmentalists have been warning about of the possibility of a spill for years; they've been ignored and, in some quarters, even despised. Once again, we have met the enemy and he is us...

JUST A SONG: Come On In My Kitchen...

Memorial Day at Carrollton Cemetery...

R.I.P. Dennis Hopper:

7 comments:

ZenYenta said...

That is all very tragic, but what you say certainly has the ring of truth to it. We should have remained outraged every second. It's just so horrible that something like this has to happen before we learn. If we have learned even now.

TaraDharma said...

tears of regret, shame, sorrow, yes. All of the above. what we have done collectively to despoil the earth we depend on...

I have friends in NOLA who are just plain flat out in disaster fatigue mode. No kidding.

RIP Dennis. Big Jack Ass but pretty darned good actor.

Roy said...

The news out of the Gulf gets worse every day. I suspect you're right that the flow will stop only when they get the relief wells up and running. This is just one huge CF.

Not a big Hopper fan, although I enjoyed his contribution to 1 Giant Leap. I saw Easy Rider when I was a kid, and thought it was the greatest movie ever made. I watched it again about a year ago and realized what a stupid kid I was; stupidest movie I ever watched!

Renegade Eye said...

Someone tell Melacon that tears are Glen Beck's gimmick.

Dennis Hopper RIP.

Distributorcap said...

we wont learn - we will continue to drill baby drill - more quietly but non stop

and we will eventually make the place uninhabitable - but the corporate execs, well they get to die with a lot of things

K. said...

Ren, you're more cynical about this than I am. I didn't think that was possible.

Dennis Hopper was such a weenie in Giant. Suddenly, he's playing counterculture heroes! Talk about a niche.

nursemyra said...

I liked Dennis Hopper in The American Friend - great movie