Monday, April 25, 2011

EDITORIAL: The BP Gulf Spill- One Year Later Congress Stalls

By Christina Fermin

Politics & Society Columnist

It has been one full year since the horrific BP gulf oil spill that killed 11 people and caused a disaster of unimaginable proportions. One year later and Congress has failed to act. This brings to light how incompetent Congress has become. When the oil was gushing out of the bottom of the sea floor everyone wanted to do what they could to help stop it. One year later congress is still cozy with big oil and has not passed one single measure to ensure an accident like this never happens again.

Living in Florida I am well aware of the crisis that has hit the community. I now I feel like our elected representatives have either forgotten or do not care. Gulf coast residents have been devastated, their economy has been crippled and oil continues to wash ashore beaches along the gulf. The BP oil claims department has been criticized for its handling of the claims and the $20 million gulf spill fund. In the meantime the money has gone all over the gulf states while government officials have made lavish purchases on new cars, boats and ipads.

BP has spent about $2 million in just the first quarter of 2011 lobbying congress to weaken any measure against oil companies, liability, responsibility and measures to protect the environment. BP also recently helped pass the ‘Put the Gulf Back to Work Act’ which speeds up the process for obtaining a drilling permit. Despite the disaster BP and Transocean executives have gotten huge bonuses that would make any one of our salaries look like chump change. The elite continue to reward themselves while making a mockery of the system that was suppose to be in place to protect the people.

One year later and we have not gotten a straight answer on what exactly happened, while blocking any media access to the disaster site and communities directly affected. Our government has assisted in hiding scientific and medical findings in the gulf coast region such as the mysterious illness that has broken out amongst workers and those exposed to the toxic dispersants which were used to break up the oil. The White House even tried blocking findings scientists made linking the deaths of masses amounts of sea life such as turtles and baby dolphins to the BP oil spill.

Government scientist and BP insist that everything is fine and things should be back to normal soon, but the truth is hundreds of millions of gallons of oil spilled into the gulf and oil continues to seep out of the cracked sea floor. Hundreds of different species have been found to be stained with black in and on their bodies, but the government and BP insist that the food is safe to eat and the water safe to swim. Tests results from people who lived and worked close to where the oil spread show high levels of toxic chemicals such as Benzene, Ethylbenezene, and Xylene all of which are highly toxic to humans cause havoc on the body and can lead to premature death.

We as a people need to come together to help one another through such tragedy. First off, if you live in the gulf region; Florida, Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana, contact your elected official and demand something gets done. Sign the petition, donate to one of the many institutions helping in the recovery process or an environmental group, volunteer if you live within vicinity, boycott oil spilling companies, and most importantly do not forget about the gulf. Check out this page for more tips and ideas:

Peace & Love,


About the Columnist

With a bachelors degree in political science from Florida Atlantic University, Christina Fermin has always cultivated her love for history, politics, sociology, ancient knowledge and teachings, the outdoors, the ocean and the environment. Christina strives to make our world better by helping us all create a new reality and understanding of all taking place here and now.



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