BP’s trial and error approach to cap the unmanageable oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is damaging more than just BP’s financial outlook. The oil spill has leaked between 19.7 million and 43 million gallons, according to government estimates. BP will undoubtedly recover financially from what is being considered the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, but unfortunately this disaster may render irreversible damages to the environment and an economic trade that is supplemented by natural resources.
While wildlife will suffer the most visible effects of this calamity, those who inhabit the coastal lands of Louisiana will have to endure the economic and environmental effects associated with this spill, most notably Native Americans. For many of these coastal tribes, fishing is a big part of life. For the Pointe Aux Chenes Tribe, who resettled in the Louisiana marsh lands after being forced from their lands more than a century ago, seafood is not only a big part of their dietary intake, but also their primary export. Having little to no resources to combat the spill and hurricane season approaching, the tribe, along with many other coastal inhabitants, is in great danger of having a low surplus of food for the upcoming months and potentially suffering from water contamination.
This spill is a call for government to become more active in pursuing alternative ways to attain oil and, more importantly, invest more money in developing a green energy plan that focuses on renewable energy sources. But until the government puts talk into action, organizations across the country need to continue being vocal about environmental issues and the benefits associated with going green. In addition, society must become more cognizant that low-income communities of color are suffering at a disproportionate rate from environmental injustice. Our Green Access program at the Mitchell Kapor Foundation seeks to create meaningful opportunities for low-income communities of color thus ensuring fairness and sustainability. Every community, regardless of class or race, should be afforded green and sustainable living, free from financial exploitation from large corporations.
photo source: Micheal Murphy, Examiner.com