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May 28, 2010

And the Oil Keeps Pouring Forth"

By Yvona Fast

No more offshore drilling. We need to detach ourselves from our dependence on oil before we completely ruin our planet.


And the oil keeps pouring forth

"The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood. " like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died." (Revelations 8:8, 16:3)

5 weeks after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, oil continues to spew out of the BP oil well one mile under the sea in the Gulf of Mexico. No one has figured out a way to plug up the hole. At least 5,000 gallons are pouring forth each day, but many say it could be much more; the experts don't agree on exactly how much.

This is not a spill, where a finite amount of oil escapes from a tanker. This is a big hole pierced into the earth, spewing oil with no end in sight. Each morning, there is more sickening news about Big Oil's obscenities.

Accidents do happen. The devastation in the Gulf was inevitable, since there was no safety or shutoff valve to prevent such a catastrophe. How is it possible that there were no safeguards in place to deal with such a possibility?

This is a crime. British Petroleum has caused the most horrific ecological disaster this planet has yet seen, in our waters. The oil has defiled the ocean, and it is coming ashore in Louisiana, defiling fisheries, seafood, wildlife like birds and turtles, and polluting beaches. Vital, fragile ocean and shoreline ecosystems are being destroyed. These waters don't belong to BP. They belong to all of us.

A majority of Americans are unhappy with our government's failure to come to the aid of those affected on the Gulf coast. But their anger should be directed at BP, not at our government. Yet despite their anger, according to the latest Gallup poll, 52 percent of Americans still support offshore drilling.

This disaster has made it clear that offshore drilling is too costly and risky. The oil industry is not prepared to deal with accidents that occur during drilling. The results have been horrific. It is not BP, but Americans living along the Gulf coast who will suffer the terrible long term effects caused by corporate greed.

Interviewed and reported on CBS evening news (May 26) the CEO of BP said, "We are absolutely committed to clean every drop of oil up". But these are empty words. While they have made attempts to stop the flow, they haven't succeeded. And thus far, BP has done little to clean up the giant mess they've created. The Gulf is now a toxic soup of oil and chemical dispersants, which are being carried by ocean currents to distant shores.

Man can live without oil. It may be hard to adjust, but people existed without oil for thousands of years. But we cannot live without oceans. They're vital to the health of our planet. Our planet is much more than a repository of resources exploitable for profit. Our life depends on the healthy life-support mechanisms of the earth. The diversity and quality of life has priceless value.

There is no such thing as safe off shore drilling or clean coal plants. BP is starting up a new deeper rig, Atlantis, in the Gulf. Drilling was also scheduled to begin offshore in Alaska. Fortunately President Obama put a moratorium on future drilling, recognizing that it must be halted before this story repeats itself.

We are already living in post peak oil times. From oil disasters to climate crisis, the consequences of our addiction to oil are unacceptable. As a nation, we must shift from coal and oil to sustainable energy sources like sun and wind, before we completely destroy our planet. This is imperative for our national and global security. We must stop subsidizing oil and coal with tax dollars. Instead, we must put our tax money into developing sustainable, renewable energy sources now.

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Submitters Bio:
Yvona Fast is an author, freelance writer, food columnist, editor, researcher and speaker. Her first book is a career guide for individuals with Asperger Syndrome or Non-Verbal Learning disability. She is currently working on her second book, My Nine Lives, a memoir she's writing with her mother, a Holocaust survivor. An excerpt, Escape from the Ghetto, won honorable mention in the North Country Public Radio writing contest. Her weekly column, North Country Kitchen, offers a medley of nutritional information, historical facts, and easy, seasonal recipes that help the reader prepare wholesome family meals and achieve a healthy lifestyle.