Friday, June 18, 2010

Thoughts on the Oil Spill

As usual, I have lots of thoughts. Today, they're directed toward the Gulf Coast oil spill.

Thought #1: Blame. Why are we only pointing the finger at BP and the government? Have we not once been reminded that we are the reason the oil rig was there in the first place!? We are the ones who fuel the oil industry and BP is only trying to supply our demand. Let us not forget that BP, though potentially "corrupt" and certainly powered by money, is not alone in this. We are to blame, as well. We want gasoline, we want it cheap, and we want it in abundance.

Thought #2: Poor Tony Hayward. Even I am guilty of nitpicking at his language and rolling my eyes at his audacious statements. Currently, I believe he is more hated than Osama bin Laden. I've got to admit, I feel bad for him. That doesn't excuse the faults of his company, but all of this tongue-lashing is getting a bit ridiculous. I don't doubt that he is sorry. I don't doubt that he is feeling the weight of the world at this moment. Now let's get the ball rolling with this $20 billion dollars and get the hands & feet of the relief effort moving and take care of the needs of the Gulf Coast community.

Thought #3: To boycott or not boycott. I don't really have a gas station of preference these days. Mostly I visit Race-Way or Wal-Mart because they have the cheapest prices. But I don't for a second believe that BP is the only enemy here. I don't know how to research the safety of each and every oil rig in each and every Big Oil company so that I can be a more informed consumer. I don't know how to tell which company is "good" and which is not. I have no clue. If someone knows how to find out, please let me know. But, for now I won't be using BP and I'm sure millions of people across the country won't be using BP for a while. I heard someone say that we didn't need to boycott them because "the last thing we need is for BP to go bankrupt." Very, very true... but, Tony Hayward said that the taxpayers would not have to pay for any of the relief efforts, and gasoline is taxed therefore I believe they better start digging in their pockets, sell their multi-million dollar homes, and stop flying around the world to find the $20 billion they've pledged. They better not be using my money!

Thought #4: The Gulf Coast oil spill is certainly a tragedy that could have been avoided. It is certainly an awful, awful thing. I almost cried while looking at pictures of the damage the other day. But, THIS IS NOT THE ONLY OIL SPILL IN THE CURRENT WORLD!!! If you haven't read this article already, read it! We are so fortunate that we just happen to have a government with enough power and money (and interest) to fight for us. That is certainly a blessing. But, BP isn't the only company with problems. And we're not the only country fighting against oil spills.

Final thoughts: These are the days when I wish I rode a bike everywhere and ate only local produce and meat from local farms so that I could be free of the need for gasoline. But even then, it wouldn't be enough. I think the only thing we can do at this point is fight for higher standards and then take responsibility into our own hands - knowing that BP oil wouldn't exist if we didn't want so much gasoline.

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