"AUSTIN, Texas — The oil spill spreading through the Gulf of Mexico has been declared the worst environmental catastrophe ever in the United States. But for American environmentalists, the distress may also bring opportunity.
'As Rahm Emanuel says, a disaster is a terrible thing to waste,' said Zygmunt J.B. Plater, a law professor at Boston College, paraphrasing a 2008 comment by the White House chief of staff about the then-burgeoning economic crisis. Environmentalists, for their part, are hoping that the country will pay more attention to green issues after seeing the devastation in the gulf.
Already, groups are using the spill as a rallying cry. Luke Metzger, the director of Environment Texas, said that his group’s canvassers had switched their fund-raising and petitions pitch from aiding a remote mountain range to urging an end to new offshore drilling."