I have to confess that I had no recollection of the Ixtoc oil disaster that dumped millions of gallons of raw crude into the Gulf of Mexico in 1978. I first learned of it watching Rachel Maddow a few weeks ago. She used it to make the point that the technology used by the oil industry to cleanup oil spills has not changed in 40 years.
More interesting is the fact that when the CEOs of the top five oil producing corporations in the world were asked about Ixtoc at a congressional hearing yesterday, not one of them had ever heard of it. Not only did they not know of it before the BP disaster, none of them knew of it even though it became a set piece in discussions of the current crises.
There have been hundreds of oil spills in the world since 1969â€¦ they have a pretty good list on Wikiâ€¦ the Exxon Valdez is not even in the top ten. The oil industry has been fucking up the environment at will all these years, and they have not spent a nickel on figuring out how to clean up the mess.
That’s probably because they don’t give a damn, a fact confirmed by the single most amazing statement from yesterdayâ€™s hearing, which came from the CEO of Exxon. He explained, in the manner of a patient teacher revealing the facts of life to children, that as long as there is going to be oil drilling, there will be environmental damage. He did not say “and the oil companies should worry about that,” or that the oil companies certainly would clean that up. He just said there would be environmental damage and â€¦ too fucking bad!!
I guess when you are the head of the richest corporation on the planet you get used to saying stuff like that to people. â€œWeâ€™re crapping all over your vegetable garden, asshole, tough shit.â€ â€œYour kids died so we could get more oil out of Iraq, too fuckin bad, asshole.â€ â€œWho likes oysters anyway?â€ â€œLet the fuckin fisherman get jobs waiting tables.â€ Oil Company presidents make about a billion dollars a year and they donâ€™t have to take crap from anyone. Right?