A Huffington Post report by environmental activist Jerry Cope is going viral, in part, because he recently testified before Congress and is eloquently offering an alternative to the “official” Gulf Coast narrative being told by BP and a host of government sources.
While also offering a harsh review of the BP claims process, Mr. Cope reviews the pressures of pro-business forces at work in the region, including intimidation of medical doctors to the point they dare not care for the sick.
Cope writes that “… locals avoid the water, the seafood, and struggle to pay their bills. Doctors continue to deny service to patients who are sickened by exposure to toxic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) for fear of retribution from BP and local business interests – a very legitimate concern. Hospital emergency rooms refuse to perform the necessary tests to determine the validity or extent of chemical poisoning.”
Mr. Cope also reminds us that the various commissions and task forces looking into the BP spill are subject to intense political pressure. And he notes that desperation mounts all along the Coast and “more and more people evacuate due to economic hardship and sickness.”
Of Washington, he says: “… many of the officials we met with were clearly surprised at hearing firsthand accounts that contradicted statements by both BP and numerous federal agencies regarding the safety of seafood, the continued use of toxic dispersants, serious and widespread health impacts, and the inane claims process. When informed of the continued use of Corexit dispersant long past the supposed date of termination in mid-July, a senior member of [a congressional panel] looked at me and said ‘that’s a crime,’ assuring me that it would be brought to the president’s attention. Indeed, but it is only one of many crimes committed against a civilian population which has been hammered by repeated disasters in the past decade.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Cope’s narrative is a must-read, even if the only bright spot seems to be that an array of non-governmental agencies are starting to get their footing to refute the relentless “Mission Accomplished” messaging from BP and its friends in business and government.
See the HuffPo piece here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerry-cope/stocking-stuffers-from-bp_b_793436.html
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