The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig may have led to the greatest environmental disaster in American history, but let's not forget about some of the other devastating impacts it had -- for instance, it left 11 innocent men dead. In the above video, Chris Jones, the brother of one of the rig workers who was killed in the blast, testifies before Congress. He has a simple request: better oversight of the offshore drilling industry. This is probably the saddest thing you'll watch all day. If there exists a more reasonable request to our nation's lawmakers anywhere on the Congressional record, I'd like to see it. The man is hardly calling for anything radical -- just better regulation of an industry that is clearly operating recklessly and negligently.
He's also asking that the families of rig workers who were killed due to that negligence be compensated for their loss -- another supremely reasonable request -- and points out the rather appalling fact that BP has not once contacted the family of the deceased.
If there was ever a moment where I wished that the corporate corner-cutters at BP and Transocean, the corrupt regulators at the Minerals Management Service, and the House Republicans who oppose better regulations on the oil industry all had one big face -- so I could punch it -- it occurred about a minute into this video.
While fighting for these regulations is extremely important, we'd do well to also remember that its our addiction to fossil fuels that makes up the deeper root of tragedies like this.
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