After a weekend of scant real news and only rumors of impending doom regarding the BP catastrophe on the Gulf coast, it was learned late yesterday, June 29, that one of those rumors, that of a damaged well casing below the seafloor, is true.
It has been a month since the so-called “top kill” operation failed, and since the first report that the well casing below the seafloor had been breached. Drilling mud apparently escaped from the pipe into the surrounding formation, through what BP booster Thad Allen characterized as a possible crack. Although Senator Bill Nelson of Florida also described this situation to Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC – the official story prevailed, courtesy of BP spokesmodel Toby Odone, who maintained 12 days ago that his company could offer no information. “We don’t know” anything about the condition of the underground portion of the well, Odone told the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “We don’t know whether the casing inside the well is damaged”.
Today, however, we see in the Los Angeles Times, that the Department of Energy has known for a month that the well casing was wrecked, probably during the initial blowout and explosion – pieces of pipe were found side by side in the wreckage of the blowout preventer.
As it has developed throughout this long and tragic affair, real lives are cut short – human and wild – and the people at UniCom are revealed, again, as liars.
While this comes as no surprise, it does help solidify conclusions drawn from observation of a pattern.
We know that damage will be concealed, denied and that those who try to expose it will have their reputations ransacked in the public eye – think of what Rachel Carson faced from agri-business after publishing Silent Spring, or those who saw first hand the disease and mutations around Three Mile Island after that ‘accident.’ Think of the fate of most whistleblowers. Think of how ExxonMobil has all but skated from its responsibility in Prince William Sound while oil is still present, buried on the beaches twenty years later.
We know with certainty that Industry has only one thing on its agenda – maximizing profit.
And we also have those who make excuses for the State, for Industry – protecting the hand that feeds them. And UniCom demonstrates again, that it fully understands which side of its bread is buttered. They could side with the people, they could side with wildlife, they could side with the victims, but they do not. They side, now, as ever, with the perpetrator.
What is needed, now and for the foreseeable future, is strong support for independent scientists and citizens to bring the true story forward, the story of the cost paid by the ecosystems of the Gulf coast, the sea, and its lives, plant and animal, human and wild.