Monday, August 16, 2010

It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.

Similar to those new traffic lights that spring up at suddenly "dangerous intersections," the region is now being alerted to several fiduciary indiscretions committed by the Delaware River Port Authority (lovingly referred to as the DRPA) ever since one of their legions loaned an EZ-Pass placard to one of his relatives a few months ago. Ever since the Inquirer reported this incident, the headlines have been rife with stories about misspent money and other such problems with an agency that sees fit to charge $4 to cross a bridge and pay about $3.50 of that to the people who take our money.
Similarly ... WASHINGTON – The government said Monday it is toughening environmental reviews for all new deepwater oil drilling, ending an easy path to oil riches that allowed BP to drill its blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico with little federal scrutiny.
The step is meant to help redress a history of lax oversight leading up to the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Some 206 million gallons spilled into the Gulf before BP stopped the leak at the Macondo well.
Oh, now all of a sudden (after millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico) it's a bad thing to drill in the deep waters. "A history of lax oversight," eh? How many millions of dollars changed hands over that little ... oversight?
A report by the White House Council on Environmental Quality found that decades-old data provided the basis for exempting BP's drilling permits from any extensive environmental review.
Now the Interior Department is banning such "categorical exclusions" for deepwater drilling reviews, at least until it investigates how the exemptions are granted.
"Our decision-making must be fully informed by an understanding of the potential environmental consequences of federal actions permitting offshore oil and gas development," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.
The White House Council on Environmental Quality? Since when? Since there are mollusks and shrimp with greasy oil buildup, that's since when. It's no different than the 400-pound guy who suddenly decides that he "has to lose some weight" or that goofball on the Hoarders TV show who has a house full of junk and finally decides that since his head is bumping up against his ceiling, it's time to start trimming the junk from his life.
It's last-minute Christmas shopping. You know, the people that wind up on the local news at 5:55pm on Christmas Eve and can't believe that the mall is closing in five minutes. They "just wanted that one last thing," and decided that they had waited long enough.
We're a society of last-minute activity. We wait until we have a heart attack to start to eat right. That chest X-Ray that looks like a Dalmatian crawled into our lungs is impetus to get us to quit smoking. And when a pipe filled with oil spews millions of gallons of oil into a delicate eco-system ... maybe it's time to examine the ways we allow people to work there.
That's good, since it was almost dead.

1 comment:

Cliff Yankovich said...

Have you read Tim Dickinson's article about the spill that was in Rolling Stone? (I love it when RS kicks political ass on both sides of the aisle - they were waaay excited about Obama - not so much anymore.)
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/111965