Oil spill: When did it become OUR problem?

by Chris Matthews

Comedian Robert Klein once told a joke that the woman at the restaurant, speaking to a waiter, said “I’ll have my coffee now.”

“My coffee.” 

When precisely, the comedian asked, did it become her coffee? When she thought of it?  When she ordered it?  When she was ready for it?

So when did this oil that’s now floating in the Gulf of Mexico become “our” oil?  When did it cease to be the property of the oil company that was drilling and become the responsibility of the Coast Guard or the American people, who don’t earn a red cent of it, to handle the clean up? When did it become our oil ruining our national habitat? 

And while we have this rare teaching moment, this moment when you see precisely how suddenly private money making can cost our world, where BP’s oil to make money with becomes our oil destroying our water and fish and coastline and wetlands, our oil to clean up.

Ladies and gentlemen, if this is the last time in your life that you see it, see it: The actions, the failures, the screw ups, the cold refusal to think and prepare for the likelihood of such horrendous environmental disasters becomes your environmental disaster the second it happens.

This is the reliable fact, that the people on the other sign right put a gag on every time they mock tree huggers and tell the latest Al Gore joke.  The fact that you pay for what they tell you is the price of doing business.  It’s the price that you pay and they don’t.

I hear Rush Limbaugh and the others on the right trying desperately to swim away from this horror.  They are talking about conspiracies about sabotage and all the rest.  I understand that part.  When you’re a ditto-head, let’s face it, it’s just one more moronic idea to bob your head to.

Yes, sir, good point.  Sure, Rush, could be.  I`ll have my oil now please.

That’s the attitude of the oil companies.  It’s mine, mine, mine, as long as there is cash to be grabbed and oil to make it with.  But if it spills on the way to the table, let the house clean it up.  The second they are not making money on it, and it’s floating out there in the Gulf, well, “It’s all yours, buddy.”

Next time you hear the oil companies making a decision about your energy future, about the environment, about the damage they are doing to the planet, including climate change, and telling us to butt out, just remember how fast they said, it’s our problem when we all saw the oil headed for the shore.

Oil spill: When did it become OUR problem?