With President Obama rightly accepting responsibility for assuming BP could handle the clean-up of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the news focus has been and continues to be the failure to plug the well. Those who have been forgotten are the 11 crew members who died during the explosion – an explosion that occurred because BP and Transocean were anxious to make profits regardless of the risks. Last week, Transocean held a moving, but conflicting memorial service for the workers in Jackson, Mississippi. As Mary Burkeen, the mother of late crew member Dale Burkeen, told Diana Sawyer, “I’m going there to honor my son, that’s the only reason. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t go because I think they’re doing it for a show. I don’t think it’s coming from their heart.”
But other than that the government’s response and the media’s response as been insulting at best. It is the greed of these large corporations that is literally killing workers. Where is the outrage?
Unsurprisingly, BP is cutting corners again with ensuring the health and safety of the clean-up workers. Many of the folks cleaning up the Gulf are ending up in hospitals because of the Corexit, the dispersant, BP has them using, and dehydration. New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-8) said during a Congressional hearing that the chemicals being used “could result in thousands and thousands of people getting sick or dying as a result of the cleanup, not of the original disaster.”
We do not need another disaster caused by greed. The President should apologize for the failure of his administration to ensure the safety of the Deepwater Horizon workers, the administrations failure to properly acknowledge the families’ loses, and the failure to ensure the health of those cleaning up the Gulf. Then he should do something about it.