Nightmarish scenario in the Gulf

Published 1:39 pm Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Welcome to a nightmare.

There are gallons and gallons of oily, black hell spewing into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the end is not yet in sight. The oil spill has already eclipsed this nation’s worst, (the Exxon Valdez’s 10.8 million spilt in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in ’89), and its impact will be felt for generations to come.

Just take it as another lesson of how flawed we are as humans: for everything we get right, we can turnaround and screw up something so bad it effects every life around us. Or, in the case of BP, thousands of lives around us.

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Remember when America’s love of oil was exciting? Jed Clampett shot a gun and “bubbling crude” made him rich. “Black Gold” brought prosperity to rural areas in states like Texas. Car manufacturers equipped automobiles with gargantuan engines that sucked gasoline like Slurpees.

Oil isn’t the least bit exciting anymore. It’s not even the inconvenience it was a few years ago when everyone was paying four bucks for a gallon of gas. It’s become something much worse: an insidious killer that’s going to choke the livelihood out of our nation’s Gulf Coast. Greenville will take a hit because our tax dollars skyrocket in the spring and summer when travelers start trickling south like ants drawn to sugar. Who wants to walk on black beaches? Who wants to swim in an oily surf? Who wants to smell a car garage in an ocean wind? Who wants to see pelicans slicked in crude fight to stay alive?

You’re supposed to leave a better world behind for your children, but that philosophy has clearly become obsolete in the eyes of many. Today it’s all about money and how much of it we can suck out of the average consumer to fatten war chests used to lobby Congress. A Congress, of course, that’s going to launch a “Congressional Investigation” into this disaster at some point in the future. That, in itself, is a joke that has long since grown stale. This is all you need to know about Congress: the federal tax code has grown to seven times the size of the Holy Bible. They can regulate how much you pay in taxes to the ninth degree, but they can’t regulate an oil industry.

Time heals all. But by the time the Gulf Coast fully recovers from this environmental disaster, many of us will be obituaries.

By then maybe our children will actually have an energy alternative to oil.