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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One year later

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Well, here we are. What's the view like? Still as contentious, confusing and impossible as before. (Read our commentary and cover story in this week's Gambit). But you probably already knew that — the "one-year later" follow ups are sure to be filling your Twitter feeds and Facebook walls. You've likely read back-to-normal reports: the Gulf's fishing waters are open and reportedly safe, so eat our seafood, and visit the beaches.

... but you'll also read about ongoing cleanup, like thick oil in marshes, while media outlets still publish headlines asking "Where's the oil?", despite stories like these surfacing long after cleanup crews packed their bags. (Here are photos taken on a walk on a Mississippi beach just days ago.) And fishermen are worried about potentially toxic seafood that both the Food and Drug Administration and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declare safe to eat. What else?

Little has been done to reform offshore drilling safety measures (or the lack thereof), so says Rep. Ed Markey, who chaired the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. And the man hearing those cries, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement chief Michael Bromwich, is also the punching bag for those on both sides of the drilling debate. And Congress — despite a 300-page National Oil Spill Commission report urging otherwise — hasn't made any move to change the oil and gas industry.

Then there are are the grossly titled "spillionaires," and then there is everyone else: broke, sick, and trying to survive with no safety net or support system.

We thank national and international media — especially those that have been here from the beginning — for vigorously filing from the Gulf Coast for "one-year later" updates. But we know the attention will soon drift elsewhere. We (and dozens of others) will continue to write about the disaster as long as there's something to write about. Right now, there is no end in sight.

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