It has been five months since the explosion of the BP drilling rig exploded, killing eleven workers and causing massive environmental damage. Since then, the government and BP have taken steps to plug the well that continued to leak on the floor of the Gulf. On Friday, Sept. 17, the government’s representative in charge of the event, Thad Allen, stated that the well had been effectively and permanently plugged. Although this is progress toward resolving the issue, the hardship is far from over.
The environment of the areas surrounding the Gulf Coast is still suffering from the spill, which dumped millions of gallons of oil into the water. Oil continues to wash up onto the coast, and fishermen are suffering because tourists do not believe that the seafood from the area is safe for consumption. Also, money and jobs are being lost in the area because the government has temporarily stopped drilling in the Gulf so companies can set up regulations for drilling safety.
You may ask yourself, who is to blame for this environmental disaster? In early September, BP released an internal investigation into the incident, which is posted on the Web site. The summary of the report states that “a sequence of failures and a number of different parties led to the explosion.”
There has been much controversy, especially in the hands of the federal government, concerning this report. The chairman of the Energy and Environmental Subcommittee, Ed Markey, made a statement shortly after the report was released questioning its credibility. In the report, BP places the blame for the incident on many different companies and workers, rather than stating that the company shares a large part of the blame in the many errors that led to the disaster.
With many local families living in the Gulf Coast suffering because of this incident, BP should be respected for taking the blame for the failure to the fullest extent, and helping in every way possible to resolve the matter. We must question whether BP deserves our business, especially after the company has relinquished the majority of the blame for the environmental catastrophe that resulted in the deaths of eleven people, as well as the dumping of 206 million gallons of oil into the ocean.
Alanna Zunski is a freshman majoring in English. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.