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Evacuate the Entire Gulf?

Activism & Community, Crime & Safety, Levees & Recovery, Media, National Politics

June 25th, 2010

I’m getting very frustrated trying to not only disseminate fact from fiction during this crisis, but dispel fear mongering perpetuated by supposedly reputed national news sources.

The Huffington Post picked up an idiotic YouTube video claiming it was raining oil in the city;  it spread like wildfire across the country and even went viral internationally.  Since then, none of the web entities who posted that nonsense has come forward with a story admitting the claim was crap.  The Drudge Report just pulled the story down as if it never existed, without assuring their readers it was a false.

Now I run across this Washington Post article where Joel Achenbach prints a quote from oil trading financial analyst, Michael Simmons as if he is an authority on emergency procedures:

“We’re going to have to evacuate the gulf states,” said Matt Simmons, founder of Simmons and Co., an oil investment firm and, since the April 20 blowout, the unflagging source of end-of-the-world predictions. “Can you imagine evacuating 20 million people? . . . This story is 80 times worse than I thought.“ 
No shit?  And how is that a financial trader who is known for promoting the highly contended notion of “Peak Oil” (basically states the planet’s oil needs have now surpassed it’s capacity) knows what the emergency preparedness plan is for the entire Gulf Coast?  If the story is “80 times worse” than he thought, I’d like to know who wrote that story for him and informed him of DHS’s game plan.  If the WaPo is breaking this news via a financial oil trader, buried seven paragraphs into the story, I’m not only questioning their integrity I’m questioning their business acumen.  If this claim is true, it should be a headline on every news resource on the planet and the WaPo may have just landed the scoop of the century.

To make matters worse the very next paragraph quotes Coast Guard Admiral, and point man for the disaster, Thad Allen, talking about the integrity of the wellhead.  Achenbach just prints the entire Gulf Coast will have to be evacuated in the wake of a tropical event, then instead of confirming that claim with the Allen, he shifts the story to the integrity of the wellhead and the efforts on drilling the relief well.

Did he not think to ask Allen, Napolitano, or even the White House if Simmons claims were true or baseless?

Did he consider that Simmons is a financial analyst and may have an agenda in creating heightened hysteria surrounding the spill?

Did he consider the effect printing this claim could have on the people of the Gulf Coast?

Is it too much to ask to have the WaPo confirm or deny the claim?  Can they pick up the phone and call someone with a big official title and ask them if DHS does indeed have plans to evacuate the entire Gulf Coast?

Is there a local reporter out there who want’s to bitch slap the WaPo? 

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Tags: oilspill, louisiana gulf coast, oil disaster, bp, american zombie