Tuesday, May 4

Gulf Coast Oil Spill

So a couple weeks ago, President Obama was my MM because of all that he's gotten accomplished in the past few weeks (healthcare, nuclear talks with Russia, raising emission requirements, etc.). My only real problem, I said then, was his stance on drilling off the Gulf Coast - which was, of course, "pro-drilling," a remarkably conservative view for someone who is supposedly a "progressive" and a "socialist". I'm hoping that his viewpoint will change now, though, what with the huge amounts of crude oil that are currently spewing forth from the BP rig that exploded last month, killing 11 workers and starting an ecological disaster that is posited to surpass the Exxon Valdez oil tanker that ran aground on the exact day of my birth, March 24, 1989, which was, at the time, the worst maritime spill in history.

As someone who loves when oil isn't gushing into the ocean and destroying the fragile marine ecosystem, I'm having a lot of trouble with this spill. Maybe it's my irrational guilt for my connection to the Exxon Valdez, or maybe it's my love of Gulf Shores, AL (the MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE ON EARTH) but the idea the of hundreds of thousands of gallons PER DAY that are pouring forth from the underwater well are making me physically ill. While the disaster in Alaska was horrible in its devastating effects on the landscape and the wildlife, this spill will not only be a blight on the environment, but it could cripple our economy in a number of ways. For one thing, the cleanup will cost billions. For another thing, the tourism industry that's just getting the season started along the Gulf will undoubtedly take a major hit, as people are less than keen to let their kids float on water-wings into an ocean full of black sludge. Another sector that could be hit, the AP is saying, is the shipping industry, as the oil slick moves dangerously closer to the Southwest Pass of the (MIGHTY) Mississippi, and if the shipping industry is hit, so could everything it moves from the Southeast up into the middle of the country and vice versa. Not to mention the fact that the fishing and shrimping and crabbing industries off the Gulf will be halted until - and who knows how long this could be? - the waters are cleaned and the seafood there is, once again, edible. And finally on a personal level - it's not like Alaska, the (I'm sure lovely) barren land where about 4 people live. No, the Gulf is full of people - retirees, families with small kids, small business owners and everyone in between - who love the land they live on, who love their homes, who don't want to have their gorgeous coastline coated in the real-life equivalent of Fern Gully's muck monster.

If President Obama doesn't make the decision to take back his earlier stance on drilling off the coast, I think this could do major, major damage to his stance in the environmental community. Come on, man. The EV should've been the one and only disastrous oil spill we needed to make a change in our policy. This is an opportunity to let the American people see how devastating our dependence on oil can be to the environment. Do not drill off the coast again, please. The risks are too high and the rewards are too few. And by the way, even if we DO drill off the coast, the oil we get there won't just be set aside for U.S. interests - it'll be sold on the global market. So it wouldn't be like we're lessening our dependence on foreign oil; we'd just be another competitor in the global game, but with such few resources as to make it almost not matter - and in my opinion, not worth it. Obama, the Republicans are calling you a socialist anyway; you might as well live up to their name-calling and do something great for our country's - and the world's - future. I didn't vote for a President who would ignore this kind of disaster and push forward on plans to drill off the coast because of pride or some almost pathological need to try to win Republicans over to his side, despite overwhelming evidence that THEY AREN'T GOING TO SUPPORT ANYTHING THAT HE DOES BECAUSE ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS PANDERING TO THEIR (WIDELY UNINFORMED AND OVER-PROPAGANDIZED BY FOX NEWS) BASE. (Sorry for the caps attack.) Look at the big picture, and realize that the future of the planet - which, in large part, is riding on the future of the oceans, which cover a whopping 71% of the Earth - is SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than budging the Republicans over to our side, and making huge concessions in doing so.

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  2. Where the like button where the like button WHERE'S THE LIKE BUTTON WHEN I NEED IT?!?!?!? Well said Katie Dee. Please print this out and mail it to him. I'll call him everyday and make sure he reads it (he being Prezzy)!