You know the story: Boy calls girl, girl goes to pick up boy, boy and girl go sit on a beautiful beachside deck to enjoy the night breeze and listen to the waves crash as he tells her a bunch of terrible things that are going on at an oil-spill cleanup site. Yes, I had a date with Elmer, my mole inside BP's cleanup operation, and he painted a grim picture of the conditions for both workers and wildlife at Louisiana's Elmer's Island Wildlife Refuge.
I've seen some pathetic excuses for cleanup out here—were the workers on Elmer's at least making some progress? "They're not being effective out here," Elmer said. "Two days after your article, they bused in twice as many workers, so they're up to 120 guys on Elmer's now, but I can't see any considerable difference. They're only working five sites and it's eight miles of beach. No one seems concerned about cleaning it up. The contractors are getting their money; they don't care. They've got all these people out there, but they're not accomplishing anything."