Letter nice -- but might not be enough

Many of us have closely followed the events regarding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We have been collectively aghast at the lack of an efficient response as far as stopping the leak and cleaning up the damage it is leaving in its wake, and we have been nervously fretting for the people and environment of that region.

And, of course, it’s been firmly in our minds that this spill could, in theory, make its way up the coast and do severe damage to our community.

Delaware Attorney General Joseph “Beau” Biden III has joined with 10 other Attorneys General from Atlantic coast states to send a letter to British Petroleum (BP) and its affiliated companies, saying that the companies will be held accountable for any damage done to local beaches and wildlife from the spill.

“Attorney General Biden felt it was important to act now so we are prepared to protect Delaware’s beaches, wildlife and other natural resources,” said State Solicitor Lawrence Lewis. “Delaware beaches are a key part of the high quality of life we enjoy and are critical to our economy. If oil from this spill does damage Delaware’s environment and economy, we will be ready to act to hold the responsible companies accountable for our losses.”

It’s always a good things to see government officials be proactive in any event — particularly one that could forever alter the way of life for our entire region. It is also an action that could help out down the line if effects from the spill do in fact reach our area and the states pursue legal action against the oil companies. Heck, it could even be argued that it’s nice to see 11 states band together in agreement over anything.

All that being said, this letter is most likely to be forwarded along to corporate attorneys and not leave a significant impression on BP.

It is absolutely the right step to take for these states, and one that had to be done in case this mess gets even worse. However, doing the right thing and holding companies accountable for their actions don’t always go hand-in-hand. Ask the people in Alaska who are still dealing with the fallout from the Valdez spill.

We’re glad that the states are getting tough with these corporations and hope that companies like BP are getting the message, and are willing to deal with their responsibilities.

We just won’t hold our breath.

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) will host an informational public workshop on the Route 26 Detour Routes Project on Monday, June 28, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Millville Town Hall. DelDOT will discuss planned traffic patterns and the anticipated schedule for the project. If you’re to be affected by this project, this is a must-attend workshop.