Great Tragedies produce great change, supposedly, or at least the Washington Post would have us believe. They may be right, although they're whining like mad that the gulf oil spill hasn't produced a huge outcry against BP in particular, and the use of fire in general.
I think they're missing the real story here. It's not so much the spill that's the tragedy, but the governments blundering at every opportunity. When the spill was skimmable, no skimmers were sent, and still aren't, even though thousands of them are available. No containment barriers were brought in, though thousands of feet are available.
BP gets paid to bring oil to refineries, not to let it run off into the ocean, and I'm sure they're doing their level best to get the stuff into tankers and onto the market. The government is, at the same time, shaking BP down for monies that they may need for the repairs.
The change being produced is a negative reaction to the government instead of the traditional negative reaction to the oil companies. The administration is now widely seen as being incapable of managing its way out of an oil-soaked paper bag.
Remember: An oil-soaked bird is made of tar and feathers.