BP Oil Spill Creates Opportunity for Environmental Reforms

Posted by on Nov 18th, 2010 and filed under Economy, Infographic. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

As the BP oil spill is halfway through the its third month questions remain about the aftermath, both short and long term.   At what point will the oil spill be contained?  When will the full extent of the damage be known?   Will off-shore oil drilling have a future?   At the moment the priority is stopping the oil spill. While BP and government investigations will likely take more than a year to fully conclude, oil spill lawyers that filed early class action lawsuits against BP and others may lead the investigatory charge while proving their cases.

The oil spill off Santa Barbara, California in 1969 created impetus for the environmental movement.  Any measurable oil industry reform will come from Congress; however, the oil & gas industry contributes heavily  to many election campaigns and virtually every Congressperson has residents in their state employed by oil & gas. Given this, should we truly expect any positive outcomes for the environmental movement from the Gulf Coast oil spillmassive oil spill in the Gulf Coast region?  Mississippi oil spill lawyers representing large numbers of out of work fishermen, shrimpers & oystermen may create litigation on multiple fronts, against oil & gas companies, federal government agencies and state and local governments while trying to defend their clients livelihood.   These cases could be what causes legislation to actually occur.

We can only hope that such a reevaluation of priorities will occur after this, the worst global ecological disaster of time.  As Americans continue to see images of crude-soaked birds, it is hard to ignore that our nation’s dependence on oil needs to be rethought.  Such a traumatic disaster as this should also highlight all the negative consequences of oil, from national security threats to the risks of pollution.  President Obama must deliver on his promised priority of a new economy of green jobs and clean energy; his recent rhetoric indicates that he intends to use the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a platform to start this work.  However, as those who lost their jobs, business or even way of life due to the oil spill may point out: words are only words and action is what is needed.  In the wake of this tragedy, Americans must not settle for this to be resolved through just another class action oil spill lawsuit, and also start demanding clean energy options and the infrastructure that will allow us to reduce our national energy consumption.

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