Thousands would argue with the validity of the phrase, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity,” while as many may recognize it as a valuable tool in the optimist’s kit. Many credit the famous grandstander P.T. Barnum with the slogan. For someone like a circus promoter tasked with drawing paying customers during tough economic times the saying makes perfect sense, while for folks living near the site of the late-July spill of jet fuel, and downstream, maybe not so much.
The full story has yet to play out but at some points along the way there have been, to the arms-length observer, at least, some developments to feel relatively good about.
There is no way to downplay the gravity of a sizable petroleum spill in any kind of waterway, especially one noted for its purity.
But, short of turning back the clock, it appears as though the aftermath is being orchestrated in as sensible, efficient and compassionate a fashion as could be hoped. Again, these are impressions being formed at a location removed from front lines and back rooms.
It’s only natural to compare the situation of the Lemon Creek jet fuel spill with other unfortuate (and some totally catastrophic) events, and here is where the optimist can gain a little inspiration. In this case the company that owned the tanker seems to be owning up to its resposibilities. There will be long term effects but a program of remediation that looks to be expanding in a meaningful way is ongoing. Nothing can give a great impression of what has gone on, but it’s possible that in future this event may be publicized as one example of how to make the best of a tough situation.