Out of Sight, Out of Our Minds?
The latest issue of TIME assesses the political impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill and concludes that Americans pay more attention to a punch to their wallets than to their guts:
"If the Gulf spill won't alter our relationship with oil, what will? Perhaps only one thing: cost. The only recent time we seemed close as a country to changing the way we use energy was in 2008, when gas prices skyrocketed past $4 a gallon. Those days may be coming back - gas is nearly $3 a gallon, and oil is creeping towards $100 a barrel as the global economy gets up off the floor. It's almost inevitable that a true recovery will bring back high energy prices, and that might finally be enough to force Democrats and Republicans to enact legislation that can actually make a difference. If we've learned one thing about the American public, it's that an oil spill may be a disaster, but expensive gas is considered a real catastrophe."
Meanwhile, federal scientists have concluded that oil buried in sediment at the bottom of the Gulf may threaten marine life, and the Sierra Club continues its efforts to ensure that BP is held accountable for the aftermath of its 40,000-square-mile spill in the Gulf of Mexico.