Learning from a disaster

June 14, 2010 1:32:46 PM PDT
Maybe we'll learn from our mistakes.

And if you don't think the BP oil spill was at least partly all of our mistake, then maybe it's time for some old fashioned criticism, self-criticism.

We're on the hunt for oil because we have an insatiable appetite for more and bigger and better, and our thirst for fossil fuels took us - or at least giant BP - 1 mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, and then nearly 4 miles below the Gulf's floor.

Five miles below the water's surface, deep into the Earth, and then straight to hell.

Experts say we're going to be paying for this environmental crisis for at least a generation. But the people who live in the Gulf area are paying dearly for it right now. Jobs have dried up, bills are going unpaid, and a way of life for many is coming to an end. For how long - we just don't know.

That BP had no contingency plan is unthinkable. What would be indefensible is that if we - in the form of government regulators - let it happen again. We've sent our Kemberly Richardson to the area to report this week on the spill. Tonight at 11, she's in Pensacola, Florida.

Also at 11, we'll have the latest in the three stooges antics up in Albany. State legislators will vote early this evening on whether to pass an emergency budget - there's a little $9 billion gap to fill - or shutdown state government. Our political reporter Dave Evans is in Albany for us tonight.

And our investigative reporter Sarah Wallace with a disturbing story about a detective, off-duty and driving drunk and speeding, hit and killed a man.

The victim - a father of two.

The detective - is still on the job. He was given a six-month suspension after he drove 73 miles and hour, in a 25 mile an hour zone, with a blood alcohol level of 0.12 - well above the legal limit of 0.08.

Sarah tonight looks at whether the detective got preferential treatment, and questions why he wasn't criminally charged.

And finally, any skepticism about the U.S. war in Afghanistan bound to increase tonight, after the U.S. Geological Survey released previously undisclosed information about that country's vast mineral wealth. Turns out, Afghanistan has more than $900 billion of minerals - mostly iron and copper - that have yet to be identified or mined.

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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