The BP Gulf Oil Spill: An Historic Failure of Government and Industry;€“ A Tragic Violation of the Public Trust and Social Contract

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For all of us who live on and near the Gulf Coast of Mexico, we exist in a state that alternates between exasperation and incredulity, between anger and grief, between shock and awe at what this oil spill has come to represent.  Where do we start?  How do we begin to express our collective disillusionment with so many instances of betrayal and letdown?  As well as the relentless falling short of what used to be considered reasonable expectations of government and corporate social responsibility.

Is it unreasonable to expect our governments – federal, state, county – to ensure that industry (Oil & Gas in this case) complies with the laws of our land.  Should we be concerned that basic regulatory oversight, put into place to protect people, property and environment, was completely ignored, suspended and not enforced?  Do we accept that such disasters occur through a highly unlikely series of human errors, bureaucratic mistakes, equipment malfunctions and technological breakdowns?  How can everything go wrong, at the worst possible time, in the perfectly wrong place, unless … … …