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That question, asked by a BP contract worker who took reporters from the New York Daily News into areas BP wants to keep off-limits, and this accompanying photo of a decomposing dolphin on Queen Bess Island, put in a nutshell the unfolding environmental nightmare along the Gulf Coast.

How do you write a check for something like this?

“When we found this dolphin it was filled with oil. Oil was just pouring out of it. It was the saddest darn thing to look at,” said a BP contract worker who took the Daily News on a surreptitious tour of the wildlife disaster unfolding in Louisiana.

His motive: simple outrage.

“There is a lot of coverup for BP. They specifically informed us that they don’t want these pictures of the dead animals. They know the ocean will wipe away most of the evidence. It’s important to me that people know the truth about what’s going on here,” the contractor said.

“The things I’ve seen: They just aren’t right. All the life out here is just full of oil. I’m going to show you what BP never showed the President.”…The grasses by the shore were littered with tarred marine life, some dead and others struggling under a thick coating of crude.”When you see some of the things I’ve seen, it would make you sick,” the contractor said. “No living creature should endure that kind of suffering.”


“Those pelicans are supposed to have white heads. The black is from the oil. Most of them won’t survive,” the contractor said.

“They keep trying to clean themselves. They try and they try, but they can’t do it.”

The contractor has been attempting to save birds and turtles.

“I saw a pelican under water with only its wing sticking out,” he said. “I grabbed it and lifted it out of the water. It was just covered in oil. It was struggling so hard to survive. We did what we could for it.

How do you write a check for something like this?

“He said he recently found five turtles drowning in oil. “Three turtles were dead. Two were dying and not dead yet. They will be,” he said. As the boat headed back amid the choppy waves, a pod of dolphins showed up to swim with the vessel and guide it to land…”They know they are in trouble. We are all in trouble,” the contractor said.

How does BP write a check for something like this? They can’t.