What Happened, 2010? I thought we were getting along!
As though the spooky Deep Horizon oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico wasn’t enough, we learned yesterday that two new oil spills have occurred, one in Alaska at a pump station 100 miles south of Fairbanks and the other off the eastern coast of Singapore. In Alaska, an electrical malfunction caused thousands of barrels of oil to gush into a “secondary containment” area from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which is 47% owned by BP. In Singapore, an oil tanker collided with another ship, spilling 5,000 tonnes of oil, which is currently reaching the coast. These two spills, coupled with Deep Horizon and the Iowa pipeline spill in March and the Great Barrier Reef Oil Spill in April (which dumped 2-3 tonnes of oil on one of the most fragile and vital ecosystems in the world, scarring 3 kilometers of ocean and in some places massacring all life), make 5 spills in the last 4 months. If you count the Port Arthur spill in January, that averages out to be an oil spill per month this year.
We’ve Heard of Deregulation, but this is Ridiculous!
Who’s in charge here!? Well, it turns out that the inspectors and state regulators that should have been checking out the Deep Horizon oil rig spent most of their time checking out… other things… After an investigation of the US Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS)—the regulators who are supposed to oversee off-shore drilling—the Feds found porn and “inappropriate e-mails” on government computers. They also found out that at least two of the state’s inspectors were meth-heads, and probably went to work while cracked out on crystal meth. We liked the part of the report about inspectors flying out to sports and recreational events on private jets paid for by off-shore companies, but the best part is where the MMS clerical employee blows cocaine and meth with an inspector. According to an employee, “Some of these people, they’ve been friends with all their life (regulators and off-shore company employees). They’ve been with these people since they were kids. They’ve hunted together. They fish together. They skeet shoot together ….They do this all the time.” (check out this article from fastcompany.com for more)
Drill, Baby, Drill?
In a dramatic protest that would make even the Minerals Management Service blush, about 100 scantily clad demonstrators marched on BP headquarters, exposing BP’s greed and the US governments’ complicity. This protest, spearheaded in large part by Code Pink, attracted lots of attention to the “drill, baby, drill” mentality.
Don’t Mourn, Organize!
In conclusion, it’s time to take action. We thank everyone who came out and visited the EF! Journal‘s table at the GreenFest in Chicago last weekend. We would like to keep reporting on the latest breaking environmental news and radical responses, so keep supporting Earth First!. So many connections can be drawn from and to the radical environmental movement that solidarity comes down to our own ability to work together. We leave you with words from the latest pamphlet of the Surrealist Movement in the United States, “Another Paradise Lost!”, which outlines some modest demands for a future we can all live with (and a planet we can live on!): “When life gives you oil spills, make molotov cocktails!”