The cord-grass marshes of south Louisiana are nurseries for baby shrimp, stalking grounds for blue crabs, and barriers that slow down waves before they bite off more of the mainland. They are now defenseless sponges for sticky, dark oil. Among the animals that live along the Gulf Coast, this is the time for hatching and rearing: Species as diverse as pelicans, shrimp and alligators are all reproducing, or preparing to. That could bring sensitive young animals in contact with toxic oil or cause their parents to plunge into oily waters looking for food. Just look at these photos.
Concerns over the health effects of the spill grew this week as more workers and residents of the coastal areas reported symptoms such as headaches and problems breathing. So far, about 60 exposure-related complaints have been filed with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Here is more.
Add to that the lost jobs in the fishing, travel and other local support businesses. Imagine what affect that has on the psyche of gulf residents.
The impact of all this in human and ecological terms is criminal negligence against the residents of the Gulf Coast. The was NOT just an "accident" on the part of BP.
Congressman to BP: "I apologize"
It's hard to believe, but Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) just apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward.
Worse, this senior member of Congress called the real tragedy of the Gulf oil disaster not the hundreds of thousands of livelihoods destroyed, but that BP can be subjected to a "shakedown" -- referring to the funds BP has promised to pay back Gulf Coast victims.
"I'm ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown."
This is a jaw-dropping reminder that some in Congress are still willing to carry water for even the worst of the worst offenders, despite the fact that their actions threaten our way of life and a livable environment. See the video.
But he is not the only Republican who is beholden to the oil companies. Here are more examples.
The day before Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) said the following:
Barton's comments -- he later retracted his apology and also apologized for using the word "shakedown" -- came a day after Price, through his role as chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee, used similar terms to criticize the administration's handling of the BP escrow fund.
"BP’s reported willingness to go along with the White House’s new fund suggests that the Obama administration is hard at work exerting its brand of Chicago-style shakedown politics," Price said in a statement late Wednesday. A spokesman for Price pointed out that unlike Barton, Price never apologized to BP, but declined to comment further or make Price available for comment.
Congresswoman Michele Bachman (R-Mn) worries that BP will get fleeced. "They shouldn't have to be fleeced and made chumps to have to pay for perpetual unemployment and all the rest — they've got to be legitimate claims. 'The other thing we have to remember is that Obama loves to make evil whatever company it is that he wants to get more power from. He makes them evil, and what we've got to ask ourselves is: Do we really want to be paying $9 for a gallon of gas? Because that could be the final result of this.' "
If you don't think that is moronic enough here are recent quotes from Rush Limbaugh.
- This spill is nothing more than an opportunity for the left to continue to attack this country and to attack the people that make this country work."
- "It's natural. It's as natural as the ocean water is. Well, the turtles may take a hit for a while, but so what?" and... "Sea water is pretty tough stuff... oil has a tough time surviving."
- "Environmentalist wackos blew up the Deepwater Horizon"
- "When do we ask the Sierra Club to pay for this leak?"
Need I say more? I'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!
Andrea Nicole Baker