Exxon Valdez Reporter On Gulf Oil Spill: Expect Redneck-to-Environmentalist Conversion

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Lafayette's newest Sierra Club member.
As an environmental reporter for the Seattle Times, William Dietrich was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Now, more than two decades later, he's predicting how things will play out in the years following the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dietrich doesn't have any simple answers. Explaining in The Huffington Post that BP, like Exxon, will probably spend millions on lawyers in order to avoid billions in settlements, wildlife will be devastated and cleanup will be near-impossible because trying to corral an oil spill is "like putting fog in a bag."

But Dietrich does foresee one welcome transformation that might come from the gushing crude:

Another prediction, based on what happened in Alaska, is that once the oil starts to devastate commercial marine livelihoods, you'll see tree-hugger conversions among redneck resource workers more dramatic than that of Saul on the road to Damascus.
Now if only the rest of the country, specifically those that make the laws, would find religion.

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