Our View: 2 years later, no one held accountable for BP spill
Friday passed with little notice. The short attention span of a nation conditioned to instant messaging about a given moment, demonstrated that an anniversary of the worst oil spill in history meant nothing.
Even more tragic, the corporation left with dirty hands let the day pass as if hoping no one would notice.
On April 20, 2010, the world became aware of coastal Louisiana along with targeted areas of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
An offshore oil rig explosion had killed 11 men, and of 115 surviving crew members, 16 were severely injured.
Fire burned on the Gulf of Mexico for 36 hours. Failed corporate policies were delayed by political positioning, all while the earth released more than 200 million gallons of crude oil, gas and other raw materials from the seafloor for 96 days.
During the next two years, the names BP, Macondo, Deepwater Horizon and Gulf Coast Claims Facility entered the public vernacular.
The Gulf seafood industry brought in reduced and inferior harvests. An already fragile eco-system took another strike in both reality and public perception.
Severe illnesses were linked to dispersants used in cleanup activity, and doomsayers were armed with ammunition to hurl while creating widespread doubts about the Gulf region to everyone else.
Billions of dollars were promised in legal settlements with claimants allegedly impacted by the coastal event coming from as far away as land-locked North Dakota.
A federally imposed drilling moratorium and a corresponding permitorium was the government’s way of punishing oil businesses – while at the same time creating a domino effect that impacted almost every other industry in the nation.
BP public relations praised the British corporation and spent millions of dollars in advertising to sell itself to an American audience.
The single element missing among all the studies that produced conflicting results depending on who sponsored the research, and government proclamations made to advance political agendas, are convincing words of accountability by those directly responsible.
April 20 passed with little fanfare. Some among the domestic population might not have realized the date or its significance. We know of 11 families that remember.
The real BP Deepwater Horizon disaster is the continued lack of accountability voiced by any of the involved parties.
Financial restitution helps cover costs to rebuild. Throwing money at a problem does not resolve core health issues or restore livelihoods.
Only a bold admission of responsibility could help soothe the pain each time another anniversary date passes on the chart to recovery. Genuine accountability would make a difference.