Drill, Baby, Drill

April 30, 2010 2:06:19 PM PDT
Call it the sounds of silence. I've been listening for but haven't heard "Drill, Baby, Drill" for a while. At least not since the oil rig explosion that is threatening beaches and wildlife along the Louisiana coastline.

(Oops I stand corrected. Sarah Palin just issued a statement saying, despite the oil spill she stands by her pro-drilling stance. But she's been quiet since the initial explosion last week.)

And have you also noticed the dearth of coal ads since the mine explosion earlier this month? They had seemed ubiquitous on television that is, until the explosion.

Pres. Obama has now put an informal moratorium on his proposal to drill for oil along the East Coast, pending a thorough investigation into the calamity that seems to be evolving in the Gulf. And if you're a drill advocate in New Jersey, what's your position now, as you watch the oil slick creep towards land and drench wildlife and bring the shrimping industry to a halt? This rig that exploded and that is now leaking up to an estimated 5,000 barrels a day, was, according to Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, "the most sophisticated ?. in the world, $600 million to build, and look what happened."

Cardin doesn't want Mr. Obama to hesitate; he should reverse his drilling proposal, he says. "I don't believe the little bit of oil that might be out there is worth the type of risk that we now see becoming a fact in the Gulf of Mexico," Cardin said.

The oil slick causing problems for the giant BP petroleum company. And now Halliburton is also involved. The company, which Dick Cheney once headed, has been named in more than two dozen lawsuits filed by folks and businesses along the Gulf, claiming the oil spill could spell financial ruin for them. According to the Associated Press, one lawsuit, filed by an injured technician on the rig, says that Halliburton "improperly and negligently" cemented the well, and that contributed to the fire, explosion and oil spill.

We'll have the latest on the oil slick, tonight at 11.

One more note about the coal mine explosion. The FBI is now investigating the Massey Upper Big Branch mine, and have questioned nearly two dozen current and former employees. Remarkably silent in this whole case are the federal mine inspectors. And one government source tonight telling ABC News that the FBI will investigate any allegations of bribes being paid by the company to inspectors.

We're also in Haiti tonight, reporting on that poorest-of-poor country's efforts to rebuild after January's deadly earthquake.

Most of the cameras are gone. Sean Penn is helping to lead the rebuilding. And so too is a church group from Harlem. The New Light Baptist Church is trying to build a medical clinic in the town of Mariani, about an hour outside Port au Prince.

So committed are these folks to building this clinic that a church elder who lives in New York but has property in Haiti, donated the land for the facility.

This week, eight members of the church are in Haiti. And so is Eyewitness News reporter Marcus Solis, who tonight at 11 tells the story of the Harlem church people and their rebuilding efforts.

Also at 11, a lesson about bad things that happen to businesses during this horrible economy, and how some businesspeople in trouble make things worse.

A group of Brownies in New Jersey made some pottery for their parents. The owner of the shop and if you have kids, you know these places; I have so many great cups and bowls my kids have made, promised the pottery would be ready in a week. But then came severe weather, and her kiln was drowned.

Rather than call the girls and explain the problem, the shop owner ignored them. Finally, the girls and their troop leader called Nina Pineda and got 7 On Your Side. And, oh yeah, they got their pottery back too.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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