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On The Vampire Diaries, Ian Somerhalder play Damon Salvatore, an often-scary blood sucker.

But in real life, the actor isn’t frightened by garlic or stakes to the heart – he’s simply taken aback by the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf.

A native of Louisiana, Somerhalder was front and center at the CNN telethon that raised $1.8 million this week. He’s also devoted the last few weeks to doing all he can to call attention to this region and this catastrophe.

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“You know when something bad happens in your life, or something goes wrong – that weird kind of really uneasy feeling you have in the pit of your stomach? I’ve had that for two months,” he told Zap2It, adding:

“Basically, the entire area is shut down. Everyone from the waitress who serves you breakfast to the guy who owns the charter boat to the shrimpers – they all literally rely on the ocean to keep their industry going… Think about how frightening it is when you suddenly, though no fault of your own, can’t feed your children or pay your mortgage.”

Somerhalder is especially outraged over how and why this accident took place.

“All of this happened due to human error – the error is cutting corners, saving money at the expense of safety measures, and a nonexistent regulatory commission,” he said. “The [U.S. Minerals Management Service] gets royalties from the oil industry. How is that any kind of regulatory body?”

It’s a question the admistration most definitely has to answer, as many believe this is the time to enact a serious climate change bill and convince America that government can – nay, must! – play an important role in the free market.

Concluded Ian, who we greatly admire for putting himself out there in this manner:

“It’s time to change, and I think this disaster is the game changer. It feels like this is one of those catastrophic events that truly changes the way that we think.”