Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why is Anyone Surprised?

Anyone who has followed the news over the past few weeks has watched as BP has tried--and failed--many times to cap the uncapped underwater oil well that is spilling tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day. They have also watched as the government has stood back and waited for them to fix the problem, using everything from drilling a second hole into the gushing broken well to cap it to trying to use a giant concrete condom to cap the gusher. Nothing has worked--yet.

Why are people surprised that nothing has worked?

Companies that tap our planet's natural resources to produce energy have only one interest in common--to get as much profit as they can out of the ground with as little expense as possible. Safety be damned.

We have seen this happen time and time again with coal mine disasters. Miners die, inevitably as a result of safety cutbacks. And now we have seen an offshore oil rig that failed as a result of shoddy safety practices. And that failed offshore rig is continuing to pump oil into the Gulf. It is guaranteed to become the worst environmental disaster in history. The Gulf states may never recover from it.

But the corporations will survive. Because they always do.

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