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Late Night: Pouting Baby Asks Why BP Won’t Finish Cleaning Up Their Mess

"Why won't BP finish cleaning up their mess?" (photo courtesy of Jim White)

Pouting Baby is talking to us again. — JW

When I make a mess, my Mommy makes sure I help clean it up. She even makes me clean it up the same day I make the mess. The people from BP made a really big mess in the Gulf of Mexico and the wetlands around the Gulf, and even though it’s been a whole year now, they are saying they finished cleaning when it really isn’t clean. My Mommy wouldn’t let me get away with that.

The Pensacola News Journal had an article in late February about BP saying they were finished cleaning, but now they have cleaned that article from their website. Lucky for us, what looks like full copies of the article are here and here. The article tells us about BP cutting back on cleanup work:

BP is out of the full-time, onshore oil cleaning business, eight months after 16,000 cleanup workers and 60 pieces of heavy machinery invaded Florida beaches to begin daily rituals of picking up tar balls and digging up submerged oil.

Now, a contingent of about 200 workers on all-terrain vehicles will patrol beaches from Perdido Key to Port St. Joe, looking for and hand-cleaning what’s left of tar balls and mats that wash up.

But it sounds like they didn’t finish the job:

“BP has finished the deep cleaning and is asking us to sign off,” said Keith Wilkins, the [Escambia] county’s point man on environmental issues. “They are comfortable with the job they’ve done, but we are not.”

I think Mr. Keith and my Mommy would get along really well.

Some of the people who worked on the early part of the cleanup or who live where the oil came ashore are really sick now, and it looks BP doesn’t care how sick these people are:

Jamie Simon worked on a barge in the oily waters for six months following the BP spill last year, cooking for the cleanup workers, washing their clothes and tidying up after them.

One year later, the 32-year-old said she still suffers from a range of debilitating health problems, including racing heartbeat, vomiting, dizziness, ear infections, swollen throat, poor sight in one eye and memory loss.

Ms. Jamie is not the only one in her town with these problems:

The local doctor, Mike Robichaux, said he has seen as many as 60 patients like Simon in recent weeks, as this small southern town of 10,000 bordered by swamp land and sugar cane fields grapples with a mysterious sickness that some believe is all BP’s fault.

When they were asked about it, BP said everything is just fine:

“Illness and injury reports were tracked and documented during the response, and the medical data indicate they did not differ appreciably from what would be expected among a workforce of this size under normal circumstances,” it [an email from BP] added.

“Mommy, does BP stand for Bad People?”

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Jim White

Jim White

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