The latest investigative report into the catastrophic Gulf oil spill of last spring finds BP, Transocean, and Haliburton all at fault. Whether there will be any legal or criminal actions taken against them is yet to be seen (hopefully the DOJ does go for their throats though).

In the last few days, emails made available by the Freedom of Information Act show a group effort between TransCanada employees and US State Department officials for the allowance of a TransCanada pipeline that would flow oil from Canada’s oil sands to the Gulf Coast. The State Department is responsible for the final say in whether the pipeline project is a go, and yet it is terrifyingly obvious that the company building the pipeline (TransCanada) and the agency responsible for regulating them (the State Department) are in bed together. But really, is it that big of a surprise?

The EPA has previously stated that the State Department’s assessments of the project are inadequate. But the EPA has no way of doing anything to curb the project should it go forward. Shouldn’t a regulatory agency like the EPA have that ability? They don’t now, and if the GOP has their way, they will rip the guts from the EPA and have them shut down. For what I’m not really sure. Who will protect our environment when the irresponsible GOP shreds the EPA to pieces?

Amidst the EPA’s inability to enforce and reprimand environmental criminals is a Groundhog’s Day of epic proportions shaping up: the TransCanada pipeline project that will require higher emissions than normal to extract the crude, Shell’s proposed Arctic Ocean drilling project, Exxon’s Russian Arctic Ocean project, etc., etc.

It seems that memories have faded fast of the events that unfolded in the Gulf during months of last spring. Oil spills still occur (like the 55,000 gallons of that black gold that Shell had seep into the North Sea in a project off Scotland). Regulations are still soft, and it’s strikingly apparent that regulators and oil companies are still doing the dirty deed together.

So why is this being taken so lightly? Could it be that there is another disastrous distraction directly affecting each and every one of our lives with high unemployment and no prospective ways to make money or retire caused by not ourselves but rather those in control of protecting us?

Yes, it is difficult to imagine ourselves independent of oil. But it must be done, and quickly, because it is obvious that our protectors do not care about protecting us or our environment for generations to come. What happened to the promises Obama made about never, ever drilling in the Arctic and bringing transparency to our government?

Lest we forget, a major disaster happened because of greedy actions like these. And it will happen again if things are not changed, because they haven’t changed at all. As Frances G. Beinecke wrote for the NY TIMES, “Imagine the increased danger and difficulty of trying to cope with a similar debacle off Alaska’s northern coast, where waters are sealed by pack ice for eight months of each year, gales roil fog-shrouded seas with waves up to 20 feet high and the temperature, combined with the wind chill, feels like 10 degrees below zero by late September”

Keep BP out of the Gulf petition

Tell the State Department ‘NO’ to the XL TransCanada Pipeline