I spy…

Jan 3, 2012 by

…with my little eye…

a protest on the beach that BP inadvertently caught in one of its latest adverts:

Don’t you just love it when an oil company decides to become the chamber of commerce for an entire region in lieu of cleaning up after itself?

If they’d included even more of a close-up, they’d have caught some of this.

If they really cared, though, they’d be paying much more attention to the fact that the oil and the nasty chemicals use to try to disperse it are still there in the Gulf.


Update, 7:37 PM: The Institute for Southern Studies asks “what if…”

But what if BP took a different tack this coming year? What if the oil giant — which scooped up profits worth nearly $5 billion last quarter and is planning to drill anew in the deepwater Gulf — decided to give a voice to those enduring the worst fishing season in memory? What if BP decided to tell the stories of families suffering from debilitating health problems they blame on the crude and chemical dispersants, oil that still mysteriously bubbles up near BP’s Macondo well 40 miles offshore?

If such a miracle were to take place, I have a great list of characters and stories for BP to choose from. They are all hard working people who care about their health and environment; many are salt-of-the earth folks who before the BP disaster rarely complained about the oil industry. But the oil spill changed that. And their stories have largely been ignored by the media and those in the halls of Congress, not to mention oil industry bosses in country club lounges. (Check out NRDC’s film Stories from the Gulf that aired on the Discovery Channel earlier this year).

Their stories are crucial; after all, who will protect the common working man and the critters in the sea, as one fisherman asked me? Who will stand up for their special interests? The problem is no politician wants to touch this Gulf tar baby. The oil, seafood and tourism interests all want to keep it quiet. The politicians just follow suit; after all, we know where their bread is buttered. The feds drew a line in the sand shortly after the well was capped last year. The oil is gone and the seafood is safe. End of story.

Except it isn’t. As NRDC’s Miriam Rotkin-Ellman and Gina Solomon reported last fall in their landmark peer-reviewed seafood safety study, the government simply doesn’t set adequate safety levels or test for many oil contaminants that can be harmful to seafood consumers, especially to children and pregnant mothers.

And every storm in the Gulf brings a fresh wave of tar balls and oily gunk onto the beaches and bayous. Where do you think that’s coming from? Experts say plenty of oil is still sunk on the bottom, some of it in thick tar mats lying just offshore. It’s not clear what will happen to it.

Read the rest here.

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