Toby's Issues: BP Oil Spill

Dear Citizens,

One of the luxuries of being a loser in the last election cycle is that now I can say whatever I want about whomever I want. I am going to use that license to talk a little bit about the crisis in the Gulf.

BP has been aggressively trying to save its image with the public. It's bought one-page color ads in the New York Times, telling us they are “going to get it right.”

How many people believe that? Get what right?

Maybe they should run an advertising firm instead. Maybe that's what they meant. “Goddammit, we might not be able to run an oil company, but we can sure as hell make a good ad!” And we should give them credit for that. Making good ads takes a lot of work: good copy, good photos, right mood, good layout. Spell check. Ability to lie through your teeth.

They couldn't get it right the first time! Why would anyone expect them to get it right now? What, did the MO of trying to make as much money as possible suddenly change? Did this massive screw-up, the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of our nation turn them into a philanthropic foundation?

The way I see it, drilling for oil is like driving a car, but on a massive, massive scale. It's not a right, it's a privilege And if you screw it up, you no longer get the privilege Depending on the screw-up you might get fined, get your car confiscated, even get sent to jail. Like drunk driving.

When someone drives drunk, they are forgetting that little fact. More importantly, they are forgetting that they could kill not only themselves but other people, some of whom probably don't even deserve it. (I know because I've driven drunk and I didn't think about any of those things. I was thinking about the shortcuts I could take so I could still make last call. And I don't do that anymore because it's stupid.)

Well, an oil rig is like a car. It's got about 300 people on there, all helping to drive it. And there are many more people who made the car, and others who made the road the car was going to drive on. And who was the head, the brain driving that operation? That was BP. And if BP doesn't have the common sense to, when it does the equivalent of building an interstate highway through an elementary school and running Ford Pintos on it at a hundred miles an hour, when it doesn't have the common sense to have ambulances waiting to deal with this supposedly “unforeseeable accident,” then you revoke BP's privileges

“But what about the jobs?” I hear you say. “You know, people work on those rigs!” Yep. And now they can work on other rigs who haven't screwed-up. Because you cannot keep a dangerous business open just because of the jobs. That is BS. “Hey we just found out this bakery isn't a bakery at all, it's a poison bakery! They were substituting sugar with rat poison because it the poison was cheaper. It was more profitable in the short run. A dozen people died. But don't close the bakery! Think about the jobs!” That would be absurd. And letting BP continue to drill a mile beneath the ocean is absurd, too.

I am Toby Morton, and I am still running for Mayor.