posted by / News / July 7, 2010

Sterling walking through beach clean up. Alabama, on ISD. Photo Patrick Ruddy.

Sterling walking through beach clean up. Alabama, on ISD. Photo Patrick Ruddy.

A bi-weekly stream of news regarding the Gulf Coast oil catastrophe

By Matt Walker
Photo by Patrick Rudy

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Ben Franklin said that. Back when you could trust a fat old white dude in an ascot. (At least one of ‘em.) And the more this Gulf Coast spill continues, the wiser our favorite kite-flying, beer-swilling, quote-spitting, forest-streaking founding father becomes. Every bit of news in the past week indicates a stunning lack of preparation and oversight — and we’re paying it for it more than ever.

Even BP has as now racked up $3 billion in clean up costs. (That’s exactly 30 million ‘Benjamins.’ ) But at least they’re still making $50 million a day, which is getting off easy compared to other Gulf Coast industries. The oyster business is down fifty percent . Sterling Spencer’s hometown of Gulf Breeze — a bustling tourist town most summers — stayed deserted for July 4th. Even . And that’s just the beginning, as the tarballs have officially hit Texas —every Gulf Coast state now feels the sting — and NOAA say there’s a 60 to 80% chance they’ll be in South Florida inside the next four months.

“Tourists collected buckets of tar in Kelly Slater’s own Cocoa Beach, some the size of a roof shingle.”

But they could’ve blown that call already. On July 6, tourists collected buckets of tar in Kelly Slater’s own Cocoa Beach, some the size of a roof shingle. In fact, Lori Wilson Park — home to twin picnic pavilions honoring the nine-time champ – was one of the strike zones. Testing will show if they’re BP-related or from another source, but Sunshine State’s tourism will pick up the tab in the meantime.

Meanwhile, BP and the feds keep skewing numbers and predictions to paint the rosiest picture possible — while failing to prepare for the worst-case scenario. In the 77 days since oil from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon began to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, the company has skimmed or burned about 60 percent of the amount it promised regulators it could remove in a single day. Whether that was simply a miscalculation or wishful thinking, we don’t know. (Hell, we don’t even know how much oil is even out there or how it’s spreading.) But when the powers that be promise that the relief well is ahead of schedule to finish in August, consider the source. Next consider the fact that even a completed will doesn’t mean the spill is over. Then consider that another 27, 000 abandoned gulf wells could be leaking with no federal oversight.

All of it adds up to another scathing critique of an industry that consistently promises safety to coastal residents — then repeatedly fails to take the most basic steps to guarantee that safety. And if you still think Big Oil honestly never thought such catastrophes could occur, note that 35 years ago British Petroleum released a board game called Offshore Oil Strike. Among the ‘hazard’ cards? “Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick clean-up costs. Pay $1million.” (If only the real game was so simple — and so cheap.)

So, is there any good news at all? Maybe. At least the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders are donating calendar proceeds to the recovery effort. So what’s your excuse for not doing anything? Drop the pom-poms and pick up your phone. Call the White House line ( 202-456-1111) and say ‘no more offshore drilling’ and do the same for your state legislators (find them at ) Then keep tabs on surfing’s phantom menace at It’s your choice: spend an ounce on prevention right now – or spend a few million pounds in cure down the road.

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8 Responses to “DEEPWATER DISASTER: DAY 79”

  1. Ray says:

    Why is he posing? Do something besides standing around, get your hazmat cert for 79 bucks and get out and help.

  2. THE TRUTH says:

    Relief Wells Should be done BY JULY 27th NOW…


    (remember topkill day 20 something)

  3. THE TRUTH says:

    And sterling is helping by being a media figure in the surf world for his hometown and constantly reminding everyone of the real scene.

    Alot of wealthier and more famous EAST COASTERS haven’t stepped up like he is. (its easy not to care when its not your beach, huh???)

  4. Ray says:

    A media figure… right. So, someone completely uneducated in science is discussing environmental impact with local news? I doubt he understands candle wax from surf wax. No one needs any reminding by him. So what is it that he is reminding me of? A douche with a surfboard standing next to men and women that are making an actual effort. Pose on.

  5. joe says:

    are those black people cleaning up the oil and a white boy watching ?

  6. Cody says:

    joe says:

    are those black people cleaning up the oil and a white boy watching ?


  7. barney says:

    Atta boy Ray, you tell ‘em. You big brained stud you. Thank for all your hard work and insightful comments,you have made much for impact that Mr Spencer ever could. this world is a better place with you in it……f***ing kook

  8. Ray says:

    Thanks Barney. I love Spencer’s brand new board shorts in the photo. Perfectly untouched and ready to be photographed for the posing. I would like to compliment him on those because they go well with his skin tone. Looks like a great photo shoot. I think Spencer and Heidi and Kim Kardashian and her sisters were next to stand next to the oil workers on the photo shoot. The only kook is the people that support posers like Spencer. His agenda is transparent. The term “kook” is very hurtful to those that adore centaurs.

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