April 20, 2010, was one of the worst days in our nation’s recent history. The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig cost 11 lives and did catastrophic damage to the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico. It also wrecked the lives and livelihoods of untold thousands of people who make a living in and near the Gulf.As an environmentalist and as an American, it was heartbreaking to watch the live video of the hideous clouds of oil billowing out of the well all summer, knowing that every barrel was another blow to the environment, wildlife, and people of the Gulf. As the oil poured in, the lifeblood of the region drained out.Although the oil no longer flows, Americans need to know that the crisis is most assuredly not over. No one knows exactly how much oil remains in the waters of the Gulf, but almost no one takes seriously early claims that three-quarters of it has miraculously vanished. The environmental and human effects of this calamity will certainly be felt for years. After all, oil is still present in the ecosystem of Alaska, over two decades after the Exxon Valdez spill. From Louisiana to Florida, shrimpers, oystermen, fishermen, motel owners, and countless small businesses that support the tourism and fishing industries have still not recovered. Some never will.Inevitably, as the crisis unfolds, perhaps over many years, thousands of individuals, businesses, and organizations will turn to the legal system for justice and compensation. But what is the nature of the legal environment the victims of the disaster are facing as they turn for help to the courts or to BP’s $20 billion compensation fund? Can justice be found for the hard-pressed people of the Gulf?That’s the subject of an important new film called Crude Justice that I was proud to narrate for Alliance for Justice, and which is being released today, October 4.
(Read the blog post in it entirety at Change.org)
You can take action by sending a letter to BP here.