The tip of the oil-drilling iceberg

We are just now learning more about how officials managing the oil-drilling rig in the Gulf ignored warning signs that it was in trouble, prior to the explosion. We’re learning that several oil company disaster-response plans contained some of the same text and several suggested, for example, that walruses live in the Gulf of Mexico.

I fear what we’ve learn to date is the tip of the iceberg. I think we’re VERY fortunate that something like this hasn’t occured more often, in the Gulf of Mexico or off the coastlines in other areas.

Of course, there have been other spills, during hurricanes and in other cases. Some folks in the pro-drilling crowd are blind to these cases, but even the drunken Minerals Management Service has reported on them.

The bottom line has become this – We can’t let these people who are running the oil companies oversea the operation of drilling rigs in our coastal waters. This new evidence confirms what many of us have feared for a long time – the greedy will too often put profit above the safety of their employees, wildlife, wildlife habitat and the environment.

I’d worry right now about a Big Oil CEO operating a kayak near the beach. So we should be very concerned about what is happening on other rigs and on sites on terra firma.

It’s going to take some time before alternative energy sources and power sources for our cars and trucks can be in place – to replace oil to an extent possible. I realize there are so many products on the market, beyond unleaded gas, that are manufactured with petroleum and used in our society. But I believe every effort should be undertaken to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

I’m hoping we’ve hit that moment in history when a major change of course can take place.

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