I live on the Texas Gulf Coast, or at least not very far from it. I’ve lived here all my life. I can remember spending a week at the beach with my best friend’s family all the way through elementary school and junior high. Now I that I’m all grown up I take my kids. Or at least I did. Now? Now I’m not so sure we’ll be able to; at least not for a long, long time.
A year after the devastation of Hurricane Ike we took the kids down to the beach for the day. Driving the beach road to the ferry I kept looking for landmarks from my childhood, but there were none. Everything was gone. I cried. But that was a natural disaster. Something that we accept as a fact of life about where we live. Just like tornadoes in Oklahoma and earthquakes in California. We know those dangers. But what threatens us now is not natural and it is not right.
I’m was sickened when I read this article and this blog post yesterday. Especially when I read the following:
“What began as a routine pressure problem, however, suddenly turned to panic. The workers called bosses to report a situation, with assistant driller Stephen Curtis telling one senior operator that the well was “coming in.” Someone told well site leader Donald Vidrine that they were “getting mud back.” The toolpusher, Jason Anderson, tried to shut down the well.
It didn’t work. Both Curtis and Anderson died in the explosion.”
My brother has been a toolpusher for onshore drilling rigs. We know the danger he faces when he goes to work. The condition some of the rigs are worked under is deplorable. Safety standards are ignored. Then me on the ground that live that well are not listened to; because, you know, the guys at the office really know what’s going on.
When I think about Jason Anderson I visualize him as my brother, also a Jason. A young guy with a young family working a hard job trying to support them. He knew what was coming. When those guys saw that seawater push out of that pipe, they knew. But instead of running away they ran toward the danger, the inevitable, and they tried to stop it. He lost his life, along with ten other men, trying to do the right thing.
I’m sad when I think of these 11 families who lost their loved ones. Families that will sit down to dinner with an empty seat, kids that will go to bed without a kiss from their daddy, women that will hug a pillow at night and weep for the man that they loved, parents with no body to bury.
I’m sad when I think of the thousands of lives that have been or will be destroyed because they cant work. Fishermen, oystermen and shrimpers that are sitting onshore looking longingly at the Gulf they have loved and that has sustained their families, but which they are no longer allowed to sail on. Owners with property they can’t rent. The young mothers that clean the resorts who are no longer needed because no one wants to vacation in an oil dump. And the environment. Have you seen the pictures? You can go here to have your fill, but be warned, it isn’t pleasant.
I’m mad. The anger I feel towards this company that recklessly endangered so many people is beyond the bounds that words can express. I want to ask why, why, why, why…. But I know the answer can be summed up with two words: Corporate Greed.
The executives at this company, all they thought about was the potential and they never considered the risk. They let dollar signs dance before their eyes and hypnotize them with its lure. They thought we can, but never stopped to think about whether or not they should.
I want them to be held responsible for the lives they took, the families they’ve destroyed, the environment they have killed. I want them in jail, and I most of all I want them to pay. I want them to pay dearly, from their own pockets, for the damage they have reeked.
I’m not sure how to conclude this post so I think I’ll just go cry.
To read more about the Gulf oil spill please visit these other blogs: