I’ve been watching for nearly 50 days with mounting frustration BP’s obvious lack of prudence, Haliburton’s gross equipment failure, Tony Haywards’s obnoxious comment “I’d like my life back” and finally the dead oil coated birds washing up on shore. It occurred to me the villians, schmucks, and horrors of this situation have all the makings of a high dollar Hollywood disaster film. What we need is a trio of super heros (Pitt, Clooney, and Cruise please) to fly in repleat with oil resistant spandex and some bad attitudes to kick some A%#. The irony is we’d probably walk out of the movie disappointed because we’d be thinking “uh right, like that could happen.”
Beyond the environmental and economic impacts, what makes this so frustrating is it has happened before and we (the American people) seem to not be learning from their mistakes. The XTOC oil spill in 1979 caused over 120 million gallons of oil leak to in to the Gulf for 10 months and the leak was never capped and did not quit leaking for some time after the relief well had been drilled. Roughly 1/3 of the Gulf has been affected by the 36 million gallons of oil to have leaked thus far from Deep Water Horizon and 4 states are seeing oil reach their shores with at least a two more months of oil leak likely. Of course, we have all heard of the Exxon Valdez of which the economic and environmental impacts are still being felt. I can keep going there have been lots.
The Question Is..
Since this is a Real Estate journal, it begs to question how will this event affect our industry? Already, we are hearing stories of vacation cancellations all along the coast. How much is BP willing to pay up? That tool Tony Hayward keeps throwing out words like reasonable and neccessary, which to me means as little as they can get a way with. Insurance isn’t going to step in and the odds of there being some major devaluation in property, loss of jobs, and tourism revenue in states already hard hit by natural disasters and the real estate bubble is pretty high according to this study out of Central Florida. I guess my question is how could it not affect us?
What can we do besides rant and throw darts at BP’s Logo?
First of all get informed about the size an scope of the spill. Don’t automatically assume you can’t visit some of your favorite beach locations this summer, many are being stigmatized and have no oil and they need our patronage. Third, volunteer in Lousiana and Florida because they need our help and it’s a worthy cause. Finally, if you have a better idea for containment than sending the bat signal than please submit it here at gulfclean.org, a wonderful crowd sourced social media era website dedicated to finding clever solutions from the wonderful pool of innovators in our country.
Please indulge my soap box
I personally think anyone whose ever chanted “drill, drill, drill” or becried big government having too much oversight, needs to don their hazmat suits and head to the coast. All you folks out there who complain that the investment in clean technology and alternative energy is to expensive, impractical, and adding to our federal deficit, where do you stand now? Do you honestly think American tax payers will not be asked to absorb the brunt of the cost and impact of this spill? Do you think Tony freaking Hayward is going to give up any of his salary and bonuses? We will get through this, that I am confident but my question is, when are we (as in the American people) going to learn from their mistakes and demand better?