Dr. Tom Termotto submits Open Letter to President Obama Re: BP
Dear President Obama,
We write this letter concerning the worst man-made, and ongoing, environmental catastrophe of the modern era, and perhaps the worst calamity the entire hemisphere has ever seen.
We are truly perplexed why the US Federal Government has not taken complete command and control of the disaster area known as the Gulf of Mexico. It is, after all, full of oil and dispersants and corpses of every sort and kind. A foreign multi-national corporation (BP) was allowed to conduct the most risky and highly experimental deep-sea drilling for oil and gas without proper permits, federal oversight and regulatory regime that would have prevented this avoidable event.
We wonder out loud why the US Government has not declared this a federal disaster area. Yes, we hear that only natural disaster areas can be declared as such, but this is the worst environmental disaster in US history. Please, President Obama, declare the Gulf of Mexico a disaster area, so that the concerned Gulf States can receive the necessary federal aid to protect themselves from the Black Wave that is around the corner. To stand by and watch this tragedy of epic proportions unfold without taking decisive presidential action is completely unacceptable.
We all know the facts surrounding this event. (i) That BP was given the green light to conduct extremely dangerous drilling techniques in order to supply the fuel necessary to run the US military. (ii) That the Military-Industrial Complex empowered BP, as it has other US Oil & Gas Companies, to drill and drain every reservoir of oil and gas discovered in the Gulf of Mexico. (iii) That the Departments of Interior, Energy, Homeland Security and EPA collaborated at the very highest levels of government to see to it that federal laws, state statutes and departmental rules and regulations were conveniently suspended or broken in order to facilitate this oil and gas exploration and extraction. Basically, we are stating that treason was committed against these United States of America by the very entities that are tasked to protect it.
Our own estimates, confirmed by the OSATF, indicate that much more oil has gushed, and is gushing, into the Gulf than BP has admitted to. And yet they are allowed to control what is essentially a crime scene, even so far as to dictate on behalf of the Unified Command Structure that was created by the US Federal Government to respond to this regional, soon to be national, crisis. The national media, the affected Gulf States, the people in the water and on the ground have all recounted story after story of how BP has simply betrayed the American people in the most profound and fundamental ways, and yet we see a continuation of an utterly failed policy.
So, what are we now requesting? As follows:
I. That the US Federal Government take immediate and complete command and control of the gushing well, and set about the process of capping this well permanently. Likewise, that the US Federal Government take complete control over the entire Gulf of Mexico where it concerns the remediation of its waters, beaches, wetlands, marshes, estuaries, etc.
II. That the US Federal Government initiate an immediate assessment of the many other very problematic oil and gas platforms that are currently operating in the Gulf and shut down those, like the Atlantis (another BP platform), that pose even greater risk than the Deepwater Horizon, should they blow.
III. That the US Federal Government fundamentally alter the current charter of the recently appointed Gulf Oil Spill Commission to deal with the aforementioned issues, as opposed to studying what went wrong with the instant case. These pressing issues must be addressed now, and by doing so, the state of the entire industry, especially as it practices in the Gulf of Mexico, will be called into serious question and appropriately responded to by the People of the Gulf States, as well as by the nation.
Many of us around the world have only now understood the inanity of drilling holes into the planet Earth in order to feed an unending and ever-growing societal addiction to hydrocarbon fuels. It is now clear that this practice must stop. And, that the community of nations must transition away from the hydrocarbon fuel paradigm permanently.
Of course, this does mean that the same community of nations must begin to embrace new energy sources that are truly clean and green, sustainable and renewable, and environmentally friendly and ecologically sound. As we approach a global population of 7 billion, the planetary biosphere and ecosystems can no longer tolerate the status quo, as the extremely serious state of affairs in the Gulf of Mexico clearly indicates.
By the way, we do understand that the current situation will not be remedied until the concerned parties coalesce around this new global commitment to phase out fossil fuels and replace them with sustainable sources of energy. In other words, the oil will continue to spill in the Gulf, and the Seven Seas will be inevitably contaminated, until the entire world comes around a new paradigm of respect and reverence for the planet Earth, which necessarily translates to a worldwide suspension of all new oil and gas exploratory drilling.
Therefore, a good start in the right direction would be to compel the oil and gas industry to end the suppression of the many alternative energy modalities that have been waiting in the wings for so many years. We would also like to see a complete cessation of the corporate conduct, which all of us have seen and experienced for over a century, that has played out in the course of the pursuing and developing of oil and gas reserves around the world. It is clear that the timing and poignancy of the global blockbuster AVATAR is no accident. The synchronicity around the debut of Black Wave, a French Canadian documentary that portrays a 20 year retrospective of the “tearing of the social fabric” in the wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, is also quite noteworthy.
Suffice to say, the universe is giving many other signs and messages which unequivocally direct our attention to the necessities of the moment. We speak of the many alerts which have come by way of (i) undersea oil leaks, seeps and spills; (ii) oil and gas pipeline ruptures; (iii) oil tanker sinkings (there have been many unreported on the high seas); (iv) refinery explosions; (v) oil and gas platform fires, explosions and sinkings, and many other serious oil and gas industry events that also go unreported by the mainstream media. Each one of these events constitutes a major SOS to humankind, yet so downplayed are they that they are barely a blip on the radar screen of the daily news cycle.
Where do we go from here, President Obama?
There is only one direction to go in and that is to systematically transition this nation away from oil and gas as a primary energy source so that our dependence, both foreign and domestic, is eventually eliminated. Of course, this requires an immediate phasing in of a new paradigm, representing a mix of alternatives sources whose attributes have been previously described. We’re not talking about pseudo green and clean energy platforms such as biofuels. Some sources such as free standing wave energy are far ahead of current technology in terms of energy production, dissemination and utilization. We are in a completely different universe here, so comparisons are for all practical purposes irrelevant. Nevertheless, this is a critical junction point to begin serious implementation of these readily available, non-toxic and vastly more efficient alternatives.
If ever there was a time to engage the public consciousness surrounding an issue, this is the one. The oil and gas energy platform undergirds the entire civilization and, therefore, it will take extraordinary leadership to take the lead of doing what is right for the global community and all of the life that resides within its borders. The far-reaching ramifications and profound consequences of a hydrocarbon-fueled society will be felt for decades, even after such a transition is completed. However, for the sake of our children and grand children and the seven generations beyond, there is no choice in the matter of expelling this polluting and destructive energy source from our nation.
We are at a fork in the road, Mr. President. We can go right or left. The left-handed fork is where we have gone for well over a century, and we know where that has taken our nation, and civilization. The globe is littered with wars and skirmishes and conflicts that revolve around powerful nations wanting to develop oil and gas reserves, conduct risky exploration, build refineries, lay down pipeline transits, etc. It’s clear to many of us that the unlawful and horrendous wars waged against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran (senseless war of words setting up a baseless war on the ground) have been about taking possession of or effectively controlling these kinds of assets. How much longer will the world be forced to watch such tragic consequences of the projection of American power in the defense of its energy interests around the globe?
Many have argued that we have no legitimate right to many of those oil fields that have been coerced or bribed from the many poor and underdeveloped nations that cannot stand up to the might of the USA, and UK. These third world countries have truly borne the brunt of a foreign policy gone awry – a policy that has been monopolized by the well-funded, powerful lobbyists of the largest oil and gas corporations on the planet. Nigeria, Ecuador, Bolivia and Indonesia, as well as many other recipients of American-style oil diplomacy have suffered far too long under the yoke of corporate imperialism. It is high time that this yoke be smashed for all time, and done so with all deliberate speed.
The fate of the entire world hangs in the balance, President Obama. The Gulf Oil Spill will not be resolved with any finality, or success, until the proper decisions are made by those in power to change the course of the future. We trust that you will act on these sentiments, which have issued forth from many of the world’s oppressed, downtrodden and innumerable victims of the hydrocarbon fuel paradigm.
Dr. Tom Termotto, National Coordinator
Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference (International Citizens’ Initiative)