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Need broad govt. response to the oil spill

By Gary Bogue
Friday, November 16th, 2007 at 7:08 am in Oil Spills.

(I’m taking a Thanksgiving break after writing today’s blog. I’ll be back on Nov. 26. See ya. /Gary)

Audubon California says federal and state agencies need to take the lead on clean-up, investigation and policy changes.

As the State Assembly Committee on Natural Resources convened an emergency oversight hearing in Emeryville on Thursday (Nov. 15) in response to the Nov. 7 oil spill in San Francisco Bay, representatives of Audubon California called for state and federal agencies to take the lead in “investigating the cause of the disaster, ensuring proper recovery measures and implementing appropriate policy changes.”

In other words, get the lead out, figure what went wrong, fix it, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“Local agencies and nonprofits have done amazing things in response to this spill, but it will not be enough moving forward.” said Glenn Olson, executive director of Audubon California. “We need the full weight of government action.”

The Bay has been designated an Important Bird Area of Global Significance by Audubon California. It was given this high designation because it hosts well over a million birds annually and remains home to a major portion of California’s remaining salt marshes. (Now we call them “oil marshes.”)

San Francisco Bay is host to the largest shorebird concentration in the West during the winter months.

By the way, November is definitely a winter month.

Olson expressed concern that first reports show that the initial response to the spill was slow and lacking the coordination needed to minimize the impact of the disaster. (Duh!)

This, in case you hadn’t guessed, is in the running for the Understatement of the Year Contest.

“Right now, it looks like the scope of the disaster was made worse by a flat-footed response and a lack of adequate preparation for this type of a spill in one of our busiest seaports,” Olson said. “This must change now.”

To put it more succinctly, “My bad” just won’t cut it. /Gary

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No Responses to “Need broad govt. response to the oil spill”

  1. Paulette Kenyon Says:

    I listened to the first hearing in Emeryville and plan to get copies of the transcripts. It’s shocking to find out that the SF Bay already had trained people asking to help early on and were turned away by the Coastguard, the feds, and the private contractor, while they sat on their thumbs waiting for the private contractor’s people to fly out here 24 hours later.
    Now, when they are filing lawsuits against Cosco Busan to pay for this mess, someone has asked that the Supreme Court decide whether businesses should be liable at all financially for accidents. If this Supreme Court does hear this case (that this recent oil spill is being used to put this case in front of the supreme court), then, the Exxon Valdez accident and Chevron will be off the hook too, if the Supreme Court (packed with George Bush big business friendly people) decides that they aren’t. I know it sounds ridiculous. I can’t imagine that we can’t hold them responsible. But, ya never know…. We all need to keep on top of this case and this situation. They mustn’t get away with this lax kind of behavior towards are precious environment. I ask anyone who reads this to really pay attention to the aftermath of this oil spill. It’s important that we make sure this sort of bureaucratic nightmare never happens again. But, we also have to keep our eyes on what’s being done to mitigate the damage. It’s all important. Demand that your newspapers keep on top of this. Our Bay is important.

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