June 23, 2010

In Defense of BP.

Via Becca West on New Era News, where this originally appeared.

The Unlikely Story of a Vegan…and an Oil Company.

In regards to the oil spill, it seems that there hasn’t been room in the media for an article like this at the moment, but I figure most people know there are always two ways to see any story. I’m hoping people are willing to test their ability to consider two opposing ideas at the same time. ~ BW

My father is the Duty Chief of Staff for Deepwater Horizons BP. He currently works below the vice president on a special assignment called “The Investigation Team.” Before the Gulf Coast disaster, he held a different position—Manager of Health, Safety and Environment for Beyond Petroleum.

Now, before you believe that I, too, am a Texas Republican like my father, give me a chance to explain myself. I am a self-identified bleeding-heart liberal who’s been a vegetarian for four years and vegan for two and a half. I volunteer at two animal shelters (Colorado Horse Rescue and Greenwood Wildlife Refuge). I recycle, eat organic foods and let it mellow if it’s yellow to conserve water.

BP is the world’s largest supplier of solar panels, amongst other environmentally-friendly and progressive tools. They believe in renewable and sustainable advancements, and as far as any hard evidence has shown, on the day of the oil spill, they weren’t breaking the law.

BP was merely another big business supplying the world’s most desired and demanded raw material. We, the American people, are the reason BP was drilling offshore in the first place. We have such a high demand for oil — what choice did we have? More dependence on foreign oil? Has anyone else come up with any solid solutions or alternatives? No.

And that’s the real tragedy.

I personally am not impressed with how long and in what ways BP has chosen to fix the tragedy that they have caused. But, I am proud of everyone I have spoken to or seen involved with the company who has lost hours of sleep, time away from their families, worked 14 days straight and grieved the loss of life (animal and human) their company has caused in an effort to solve this problem. When people on the news or to my face claim BP doesn’t care or doesn’t care enough, it makes me angry because I feel as if I am under scrutiny for my beliefs.

Why isn’t anybody looking at themselves and saying, “I am a part of this?” In many ways, our inability to wean ourselves from our oil addiction has contributed to this.  Our consumer demand is what drove this company to seek further oil sources.

Please remember that not everyone who works for an oil company is evil, heartless or lacks morality. They care and they don’t want to be part of the biggest environmental disaster of this century. They have families and retirements they’ve worked for, and in one afternoon thousands of careers were put into question. We all have a responsibility to come up with a solution, not just anti-BP bumper stickers.

For more articles by New Era Colorado authors, please head to New Era News!

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