Sunday, January 16, 2011

Questions the Press Needs to Ask About the Gulf Oil Spill (SLIDESHOW)

Rocky Kistner

Rocky Kistner

Posted: January 15, 2011 10:44 P


A version of this blog first appeared on the Neiman Watchdog website
I have worked and lived with the people of the bayou in Buras, LA, for the past six months.  But when the BP well from hell was capped in mid-July, the media ran for the exits as fast as they stormed the bayous in early May. They've barely looked back.
But unfortunately the oil did not go away. Oily sheen and tar balls still wash in with the tides, still pop up on the surface, and still threatens the livelihood of a culture that is disappearing with the sea-flooded marshes. Recently, I took a freezing boat ride out to the coast of the Mississippi delta and found tar balls still littering the beaches. According to cleanup workers out there, there's a constant wave of these weathered oil pieces washing in. They didn't expect it to go away anytime soon. Truth is, no one knows how much oil is buried on the ocean floor, sunk by chemical dispersants and rising slowly like a poisonous Phoenix.
Last week President Obama’s Oil Spill Commission issued its final report. It was well received by many residents of the Gulf, but people in the region still have huge health concerns as they deal a variety of physical and mental health ailments they say are tied to the oil and the two million gallons of chemical dispersants sprayed throughout the Gulf. This was topic number one raised by the public at President Obama's oil commission forum in New Orleans last week, a day after it issued its final report. Commissioners Frances Beinecke and Don Boesch heard an earful from coastal residents who have had enough of the government’s inaction and dismissive attitude. They promised to bring their complaints back to the president.
Watch a slideshow of NRDC photos from the Gulf since early May.
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