Robert Redford calls spill a wake-up call
By Garance Franke-Ruta
It's not at Katrina levels yet -- have you seen a telethon? -- but a steadily growing chorus of Hollywood celebrities is angling for a role in the response to the oil spill more than a month after the blowout at BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling station opened a gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.
Actor Kevin Costner, star of "Waterworld," in mid-May donated to BP six experimental oil-extraction machines from Ocean Therapy Solutions, in which he is a major investor, having developed an interest in oil spill clean-up technology in the wake of the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989. "Titanic" and "The Abyss" director James Cameron organized a meeting of deep-sea experts at the Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday and has spoken candidly about his feeling that efforts to stop the spill were run by "morons."
Now actor Robert Redford, an oil-field "roustabout" worker in his teens, has released a video for the Natural Resources Defense Council, of which he is a trustee, calling the oil spill a wake-up call and asking viewers to write their congressional representatives in support of clean energy and climate change legislation.
"Maybe we needed it to be that bad to wake us up and put pressure on these companies and the government," he said in the ad "The Fix," which railed against the public relations efforts of oil companies to rebrand themselves as conservation or human-energy businesses and politicians who are "in collusion" with the energy companies. Such rhetorical flourishes make him "want to throw up," he said.
"We have to stop listening to the self-interested propaganda of oil companies and their parrots in Congress. It's bad for our health. If there's a lesson in all of this, its that we have to get off of our dependence on oil," he said.
June 4, 2010; 1:05 PM ET
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