Limits on access to oiled waters, coast frustrates journalists

When a photographer from The Times-Picayune earlier this week tried to hire a plane to fly over Grand Isle, the charter plane company was told that the flight could not descend below 3,000 feet.

Southern Seaplane owner Rhonda Panepinto said her husband called the BP Command Center on Tuesday for permission to fly photographer Ted Jackson over Grand Isle, so that he could take pictures of the impact of the spreading oil from the Deepwater Horizon well. But the plane company was told by a BP contractor that media flights weren't allowed in the restricted air space established by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

America's Chernobyl

I just sent the following to my local papers. You should do the same.

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Some observers have claimed that the BP Gulf Oil Disaster is Obama’s “Katrina.” Sadly, this is far worse. The Gulf Oil Disaster and scandal has reached the point of being America’s Chernobyl.

It was known from a similar disaster in 1979 (involving many of the same players) that gulf blowouts were possible. Yet the US Government issued waivers for environmental impact studies for gulf drillers to free those drillers from the costs. Acoustic Preventers, mandated in every other oil-producing nation, are optional in the US, and as they cost a half million each, rarely used. Then we have the Mineral Management Service, the official US Government agency that collects oil lease revenues and is supposed to exercise oversight on the drilling of oil in the United States, recently exposed as allowing the oil companies to fill out the inspection and audit reports while the officials themselves wallowed in online porn, drugs, and hookers supplied by the oil companies. This is a scandal that matches the revelation that during the 12 years that Bernie Madoff-with-the-loot was scamming his investors, the Securities & Exchange Commission “investigators” were also spending their time watching online porn on their taxpayer-funded computers.

Like Titanic, like the Hindenburg, like Challenger, Columbia, Chernobyl, and yes, also Katrina, everyone knew before hand that shortcuts were being taken, risks ignored, safety systems ignored, regulations bypassed, and obvious warnings disregarded.

The fact is that we do not pay the government to come in after a disaster and look stern and Presidential while setting up commissions to find the blame. We pay the government to keep a watchful eye out to keep these disasters from occurring in the first place. We pay the government to take care of the United States, and every oil spill, caved-in coal mine, collapsed bridge, crumbling road, shuttered school, flooded town represents a total failure of the US Government, in their eagerness to start wars and support Israel, to do the job they are supposed to do.

We should not reward failure any longer.

The USSR, already humiliated from Afghanistan, tried to bluff their way through the Chernobyl disaster and conceal from the world the scale of the environmental damage caused.

The USA, already humiliated from Afghanistan, is repeating that classic mistake; trying to bluff their way through the BP disaster and conceal from the world the scale of the environmental damage caused.

History repeats?

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