What is American Power? (revisited)


General Culture, General Photography


The BP Oil Disaster is dominating large parts of the news, and a pervasive combination of frustration and anger is spreading across the country (check out the size of the spill here). Of course, there are good reasons to be angry at BP and at the government. But it might be worthwhile to step back a little and to realize that ultimately, we all bear responsibility. BP (and other companies) are drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico because our cars need more fuel, and we’ve used up all sources that are easily accessible. BP has a lousy safety record and was unprepared for what just happened because the people we elected let them get away with all of that. Make no mistake, I don’t want BP to get off the hook. But I also think that to prevent future spills it will take more than just oil companies cleaning up their act (and the Coast at the Gulf). It also takes us using less of the stuff that they extract from the ground at such terrible cost for the environment. So now might be a good time to revisit Susan Bell and Mitch Epstein’s What is American Power? (here is a photo of an oil rig from that project)