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May. 25 2010 - 2:33 pm | 1,770 views | 1 recommendation | 33 comments

What is Obama supposed to do about BP’s disaster?

WASHINGTON - MAY 11:  Environmental activists ...

Image by Getty Images North America via @daylife

John Cole expresses the view of, I think, many liberals on his blog today when he asked: what exactly is the Obama administration supposed to about the oil spill?

He asks this after acknowledging all the terrible things BP and the government have done (missed deadlines, hidden the size of the spill, issued more permits to drill,) while failing to address some other points (BP buying off spill victims, using toxic dispersants, which have been banned in the UK, against the orders of the EPA, racing up to Canada to try to get their country to deregulate, too, etc.)

Cole isn’t an apologist for private business run amok. He just sincerely wants to know: what the hell is Obama supposed to do about this?

But he’s already answered the question with his last peeve point — a realization Cole appears to have at the very end of the post. The Obama administration is still issuing permits. Despite the catastrophe of the Gulf oil geyser, Obama wants to expand offshore drilling. The rationale for this is articulated by Interior Secretary Ken Salazaar.

“We should be honest with ourselves. … We are dependent on oil and gas and we will be,” Salazar told senators. “As an economy in transition, it’s something that we need to do.”

And of course, Obama concurs.

Yet, as Ezra Klein points out, the US uses 23 percent of total world oil consumption, but has only 3 percent of the world’s oil reserves within its borders. Even in the super productive parts of the new area opened to drilling (a 24 million acre area of the eastern gulf,) the expected yield is only 3.5 billion barrels of oil. The US consumes 19.5 million barrels of oil per day. That means the shiny new wells would only produce around 180 days worth of oil.

Here’s a chart illustrating US oil consumption. You can see how little new offshore drilling actually contributes.

Basically, expanding domestic drilling is a huge, huge risk with very little pay off.

So the first thing Obama could do is end the Domestic Drilling As Savior Of Society charade. The US is addicted to foreign oil, and engaging in risky domestic drilling isn’t going to reverse that trend.

Obama could also defend the American people by supporting proposals to raise the potential cap on damages for oil companies beyond the current limits, and increase the amount in the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund by increasing taxes on industry. The proposal would increase the amount the fund could pay for cleanup and damages related to any spills.

Thus far, the administration has offered a tepid response.

The Obama administration remains confident it can recover “every dime” of taxpayer expense from the spill, with or without legislation to substantially increase the dollar amount at which oil-spill liabilities are capped, Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli said Tuesday.

Why bothering raising the cap if it’s only going to piss off wealthy industry donors? Seems like a waste of energy, really, and not the “dumped into the ocean” kind.

The Obama-BP relationship is an ongoing thing. It’s not as though this very bad thing happened, so now Obama has to sign endless bits of legislation to permit the next bad thing to happen, as well. As far as I know, the government is still capable of regulating industry. I’m not claiming they’re actually doing any regulation, but they do possess the tools to do some regulation if they desire.

And clearly, the White House gets that they still have the power to regulate industry.

The new automobile fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks that the administration outlined last month are anticipated to cut oil use 11.6 billion gallons per year by 2016. The executive order Obama issued to raise mileage standards for heavy trucks could cut oil consumption another 11 billion gallons by 2030.

Super. Genuinely good stuff. Now, how about standards that make using busted blowout preventers — complete with dead batteries, leaks in the hydraulic system, a “useless” test version of a key component, and a cutting tool that wasn’t strong enough to shear through steel joints in the well pipe to stop the flow of oil — criminal offenses that, at least, raises the cap of liability, and also lose a company any new drilling permits?

Additionally, if the EPA orders a company to stop using toxic dispersants that have been banned in the UK, and the company flips them the bird and keeps using those toxins, that company should be held accountable for their actions. Imagine if the FDA banned a certain toxic chemical from food that bears a “striking molecular resemblance to anti-freeze,” and causes respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney, and blood disorders. Now, imagine if a company kept using that chemical even after the FDA made their polite request.

What should matter more: The sovereignty of a corporation, or the health of the American people?

What is Obama supposed to do? His job. He’s supposed to protect the American people. I believe he took an oath swearing to do that very thing.


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  1. collapse expand

    “What is Obama supposed to do? His job.”

    Exactly. His f-ing job.

    I say we start contracting these asshole presidents before we hire them. If you hire someone to build a new roof for your house, they are under a verbal contract to complete the work or you get to sue their asses.

    But lets take it a step further and get it in writing. You want to run? Lets see your contract. Don’t finish the job? Sorry Georgy, welcome to you new basement level studio apartment.

    I hate frivolous lawsuits and lawyers and prosecutors and judges, but screw it, they built the judicial branch, lets see them stand up too it.

    • collapse expand

      Ms. Kilkenny & Jeremy Winter,

      Here is something that can be done immediately, extend US legal jurisdiction over these platforms, including for OSHA and EPA. The Deepwater Horizon is in the “Extended Economic Zone” (EEZ) of the United States. This gives the US government authority to regulate who can drill there through the Department of Interior’s Offshore Minerals Management Program. However, OSHA and EPA (and other regulatory bodies) have no authority, the rig is beyond the “territorial waters” of the US and thus beyond the statutory authority of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA). This is why the Federal government’s response has been so tepid, they have little legal authority.

      This of course ever so convenient for off-shore drillers, no health & safety or environmental safety regulations but legal authorization to drill and pump. Of course when things blow up, there is no one in charge! A libertarian dream come true.

      One big piece of the solution would be to extend the authority of the CWA and OSHA to cover these rigs in the EEZ.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Isn’t the Department of Interior under the authority of the Executive Branch?

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          Hello jeremywinter,

          Yes it is but it does not have unlimited powers, it can only do what it has legal authority to do. The DOI does not have any legal authority over work place or environmental safety on oil platforms beyond three miles of the US low tide mark of the nearest body of land (the tip of the Mississippi Delta in this case).

          This is why BP can ignore EPA’s suggestions about dispersants. The spill has been in international waters (as far as the EPA is concerned) and they cannot tell BP what to do. Once the oil crosses in to “territorial seas”, the rule will change a bit – EPA can start issuing fines but a lot of good that will do.

          Really there is not a whole lot that the Executive Branch can do in international waters without proper statutory authority. The Bush administration was of course famous for its disregard for niceties of “Due Process” and the “Rule of Law” so I suppose one might argue, “To Hell with the law, just do something”. That approach of course worked out so well for the Bush Administration that its history might be a guide to the present.

          However, let us suppose the Mr. Obama hired Pr. John Yoo to write some legal memos to allow the administration to do exactly what it wanted, what exactly would they do? Seize the sunken platform? Then what? Part of the problem here is that the scale and complexity of the disaster is unprecedented. No rig this large in this depth of water has every completely fallen over before. There are no “experts” on this because nothing like has ever happened, either in government service or in the private sector. I really believe that BP is doing everything possible to stop this leak as fast as possible. The simple fact of the matter is that they just “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” here and the DOI would be no better equipped to solve this problem than BP, probably less.

          The point is to prevent these sorts of disasters and some additional statutory authority would go a long way towards that goal.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Very convenient, indeed. Getting that kind of reform will be tough considering how much cash BP has been stuffing into Democratic and Republican coffers all these years: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=BP#Political_contributions.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        “This of course ever so convenient for off-shore drillers, no health & safety or environmental safety regulations but legal authorization to drill and pump”.

        WHAT?!!! You have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve been offshore for 16 years both in California and The Gulf and that is the farthest thing from the truth. We are regulated by more industries than you could imagine and it has always had a reputation of being very strictly regulated. MMS inspections at least twice a month, one Coast Guard inspection per year, and one ABS inspection per year. Not to mention the 10 to 20 3rd party inspections each and every year.

        “Stop Domestic Drilling”? Why don’t you just drop a nuclear bomb on the South? 420,000 Louisiana residents make their living from the oil and gas business in this state, to stop would be a 70 billion dollar hit to our state just to get the party started. Don’t forget the hub of the entire North American Petroleum business – Houston and the hundreds of thousands of residents from Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Oklahoma that would be left on the soup line.

        The permits you speak of were to make modifications to existing wells and the ones that were new were quickly revoked, regardless – 420,000 Louisiana residents and their families sit idle wonder what tomorrow will bring since we have been shut down from doing something we’ve done since the mid 1950’s, hardly ever being noticed by the rest of America. In fact, most of the work in the Gulf is drilling for natural gas, not oil.

        Finally, insiders can put the finger squarely on the BP engineers and MMS for writing and approving an incredibly bogus casing plan – This will be the biggest reason for the blowout. No seals on the casing hangers and a cement expert testified on Capitol Hill, there was no way it would hold, so even if the BOPs functioned to perfection, you’d still get a sub surface blowout – See Santa Barbara 1969.

        And not one mention of 11 men who lost their lives and were given a memorial in Jackson, MS today.

        Sad!

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          Hello Knut,

          In California the oil rigs are with the “territorial waters” of the United States and thus subject to both the Clean Water Act and the Occupational Safety & Health Act, as well various State regulations. Not all rigs in the Gulf of Mexico are outside US Territorial Waters, those rigs within those waters are, as you note, covered under both CWA and OSHA.

          However, the Deepwater Horizon was not with those limits. Here is the link to the New Orleans Times-Picayune where where a spokewomen from OSHA states that the death of the platform workers is outside their jurisdiction

          http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2010/04/search_for_11_missing_workers.html

          “The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration will not investigate the explosion because it occurred in international waters, a spokeswoman in Dallas said.”

          Different rigs in different locations have different rules.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
          • collapse expand

            As stated before, I have worked in California. I worked for Exxon on the Heritage & Harmony platforms. Things were different in California but isn’t everything different from the rest of the country there?

            In The Gulf, I have always worked on the shelf (Inside the territorial waters of the U.S.) and I have never, ever seen an OSHA rep. or an OSHA standards book on a rig I’ve worked, even when those rigs were dry docked for work. OSHA does not exist in the oilfield, we fall under the law of The United States Coast Guard, they do the same inspections OSHA would do but on the marine scale. 2nd is The American Bureau of Shipping, this organization regulates hull & structural issues of the industry. Finally MMS who is like the sheriffs dept. – You never know when they’ll land on the rig and with each discrepancy found (We call them ink’s) it’s a $50,000.00 pop to the oil & gas company running the rig.

            Deep water rigs fall under these same guidelines – There is no gray area.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    “What is Obama supposed to do? His job. He’s supposed to protect the American people. I believe he took an oath swearing to do that very thing.”

    No, no, no. Not true.

    The oath contained in Article 2, Section 1, is to defend the Constitution, not “the American people”:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    As Glenn Greenwald has noted, this is not a minor issue:

    The claim that the President takes an oath to “defend the country” — as though he’s some sort of National Security Daddy-Monarch whose supreme, overriding duty is to Keep Us Safe — is one of the most basic, common and destructive myths in our discourse. That was the warped mindset that lay at the heart of the Bush/Cheney/Addington/Yoo model of the presidency — that everything, including limitations on presidential powers and the Constitution itself, is subordinated to the sole mandate that the President do everything possible — whatever is necessary — to Protect Us All.

    This deceitful description of the Presidentíal oath — just like the compulsion for civilians to refer to the President as “our Commander-in-Chief” even though he is no such thing to civilians — reflects the modern fetishization of the President as Supreme Military Protector, who has few other duties that matter, if he has any, other than single-handedly protecting us from danger.

    …Obama himself adopted this distorted view of the Presidency, announcing: “my single most important responsibility as President is to keep the American people safe.” That just isn’t what the Constitution and the presidential oath say is the most important responsibility of the President. He’s required, above all else, to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”

    • collapse expand

      True, though I think you’re taking Greenwald a bit out of context here. The President swears to uphold the Constitution, which contains due process. When I wrote “protect the American people,” I actually meant defending them from corporations, which prevent due process via bribes and cozy arrangements with Washington.

      The justice system, including any hope for accountability, is completely corrupt in the US. There is no hope for due process as long as the two-tier system of justice sends poor people to jail, while the rich elite get to do stuff like poison the environment without the president so much as raising an eyebrow.

      But point taken — the whole “Daddy Protect Us” culture is extremely dangerous and has been successfully exploited by the warmongering class for years.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      Hello Jasong,

      The President does not have unlimited legal powers, he can only do what the laws and Constitution empower him to do. The Deepwater Horizon was build and operated in international waters. While the US does maintain, under the “Law of the Sea”, an “Extended Economic Zone” (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles, this merely applies to, as the name suggests, mineral and energy rights. Most US laws, such as the Clean Water Act, do not apply to international waters, even within the EEZ.

      Let us however suppose that Mr. Obama were hire John Yoo to write a memo that would somehow created out of nothing legal authority for the POTUS to unilaterally seize the now subsurface rig. What would the Mr. Obama do with it? There are no experts in this sort of thing because this sort of thing has never happened before. A rig this big have never completely fallen over in water this deep. BP and the entire off-shore drilling industry clearly only guessing at what to do. What is the White House going to do that they aren’t?

      If you were President, what you do, either within your legally authorized power or – following the lead of the Bush Administration – by shear brute power?

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        One thing Obama’s DOJ could do is end its war on those who reveal wrongdoing and start going after the wrongdoers. Stop giving immunity to torturers (except for one), child molesters, and environmental terrorists. This ongoing trend of punishing those who report on wrongdoing, while allowing wrongdoers to escape any and all accountability, will only ensure future disasters by obscuring risky behavior until it’s too late.

        “The President does not have unlimited legal powers, he can only do what the laws and Constitution empower him to do.”

        True. But Obama has proven willing and able to exceeded the authority of his office in certain areas, from assassinating U.S. citizens (among others) to torturing U.S. citizens. But when the subject is wrongdoing which can cause real, massive harm, Obama is not only careful to stay within the legal limits of his authority, but neglects that authority. Too bad his authoritarian streak only kicks in when Muslims are targeted.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          Hello jasong,

          That is all very interesting but what does it have to do with the issue at hand? I will ask the question again…

          If you were President, what you do, either within your legally authorized power or – following the lead of the Bush Administration – by shear brute power?

          In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    Many liberals would come to the very logical conclusion that you arrive at (i.e. – Obama should just do his job) if the White House were currently occupied with a Republican.

    NOTE to liberals: Remove Obama goggles immediately.

    • collapse expand

      Hello davisfleetwood,

      If you were President, what you do, within your legal, constitutional authority, remembering that the Deepwater Horizon is in international waters?

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        I am a lifelong lefty, and I voted for Obama. However, I am becoming very disturbed over the tendency of fellow progressives excusing obvious pro-corporate bias and inaction on the grounds that ‘there is nothing he can do’. He was elected on the promise of change, of action!

        Sure, the oil rig is in the EEZ, but Obama could easily start the wheels turning on disallowing any further drilling permits for BP unless they comply with EPA recomendation on dispersants. He could start re-regulating the oil industry, dictating functional safety equipment in exchange for drilling permits. He could start firing the government employees who allowed this massive failure of regulation showing he is serious about accountability. He could ask for Salazaar’s resignation. He could put forward a bill in congress regulating safety measures in US coatal areas to prevent this from happening again. He could announce an X-prize rewarding anyone who can stop the leak. He could do any one of hundreds of visible ACTIONS, instead of going forward with pro-oil company plans on expanded drilling in the face of this disaster.

        There is a lot a president can DO short of the sort of abuses of executive power we saw under Bush (and why is that always brought up when people are just asking for simple action?). Hell, Obama could just have daily press conferences highlighting the actions taken to stem this disaster, at least he would have the appearance of action. He is losing the narrative on this disaster badly, and on an election year.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
        • collapse expand

          Hello Oria Bjorklund,

          All of that is very interesting and I do not disagree with any of your ideas per se. I think that the OSHA and CWA should be extended to cover oil rigs in the EEZ but that is all about preventing future disasters. However my ideas nor yours answer the question on the table at the moment, what can the President do about the actual spill itself right now?

          You wrote:”He could do any one of hundreds of visible ACTIONS, instead of going forward with pro-oil company plans on expanded drilling in the face of this disaster.”

          What specific actions are you speaking of? It is all very easy say “take action” but what actions which will have some physical impact on the oil spill should be taken? Until someone can name a specific, practical action that will either stop the leak or clean-up the oil already released then there is no point is getting all red in the face about Mr. Obama’s lack of action.

          In response to another comment. See in context »
          • collapse expand

            Yes, the law conveniently limits the action the government can take under these circumstances, but there seems to be this convenient amnesia circulating amongst you centrist apologists anxious to forget that most of a president’s power is POLITICAL.

            Obama could be putting pressure on BP in hundreds of highly visible and effective ways. Threatening laws, federal suits, new regulation, revoking drilling rights, revoking corporate charters, new taxes and on and on. He could MAKE BP comply with FDA regulations and use a less toxic dispersant to hide the damage being done, he could compell them to allow better transperency of the clean up efforts, he could twist their arms, intimidate and force them to allow the government a more active oversight of this disaster. He could open up this disaster scene and bring in all of the resources available to our government and fund more aggresive efforts by private industry, he could coordinate the effort.

            Effective presidents don’t surrender at the earliest possible opportunity and then shrug it off as ‘political reality’, as Obama has done and continues to do over and over and over again. They fight. And if they lose, at least they fought. At least the voters watched them try, instead of seing more of the president sitting around rationalizing his inaction.

            Past presidents put men on the moon, won wars, beat depressions, broke up nation-destroying monopolies, built the parks and the infrastucture that gave birth to our mighty superpower. This president is utterly stymied by red tape. At least he has legions of apologists though, huh?

            That is why Bush was so disasterously effective and re-electable, he got out there and scraped. He owned the narrative, he controlled the battle – God help us all. We are at a crossroads. We are facing unprecidented disaster on several fronts, and we don’t need more excuses, we need ACTION.

            In response to another comment. See in context »
  4. collapse expand

    The continued issuance of Drilling Permits are a tiny part of the problem. The criminal negligence at this point warrents the revoking of BP USA Inc’s corporate Charter.

    From what I can tell from their “legal notice” on their website, BP USA inc is incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois.

    So it’s up to the Illinois gov’t whether or not to allow BP to continue existing or not. I say we organize to lobby the Gov’t of Illinois to revoke BP USA Inc’s corporate charter entirely.

    Revoking corporate charter was done back in the days of Theodore Roosevelt, and frankly, it’s a tool that is far underutilized.

    • collapse expand

      Hello Asher Platts,

      I do not necessarily disagree with what you are suggesting but that does not to address the current crisis. Punishing BP is all well and good but it does not shut down the leak or clean up the slick. I could just easily say that it is all to apparent that BP, Haliburton, &c have no idea how to safely drill for oil in deep water far from the coast and that they should be allowed to do so until they can. Fine but so what? Everyone has advice on how to prevent future disasters but the item up for discussion is what to do now about *this disaster*, this oil slick, this underwater gusher.

      The simple fact of the matter is that no one, not POTUS, not BP, not Haliburton, not the Governor of Louisiana, not the Mayor of New Orleans knows what to do, nor anyone here. All of the future actions and punishments are good for discussion but until someone can say “The president should dump 300 metric tons of dog hair on the slick and that will help solve the problem” there is just no point in beating up Mr. Obama.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Punishing BP harshly and immediately is CRUCIAL. It establishes accountability, so that this doesn’t happen again in 5 years off the California or eastern coast. Obama’s continual pre-emptive apologies for BP just shows he works for big lobbyists rather than reigning them in.

        And BP really doesn’t seem to be working all that hard on stopping this gusher, rather they seem pre-occupied with limiting liability and hiding the damage with toxic dispersants. They passed their damage limit on this disaster weeks ago anyway. The government can certainly provide some motivation – if the federal government were more serious about punishing BP, they may be more serious about stopping the leak as fast as possible.

        Y’know, I’m starting to put people like you in the same camp as tea-baggers – people who have so bought into the wash of propaganda that the people and government of this nation are helpless before the might of corporate America that we should deify the market and sacrifice our jobs and families and living standards and environment and health and EVERYTHING to appease the angry and wrathful invisible hand.

        After all, “We are powerless before corporate America, therefore we should just give up – that’s POLITICAL REALITY” is just another way of saying we have no choice but to give the polluters and corporate despoilers free-reign.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
  5. collapse expand

    Obama is doing exactly what he wants to do to fulfill his agenda. Do nothing even though the Government has penty of manpower and nohow to get this thing under hand.There were far bigger spills over in Saudi and they not only fixed it and kept things from getting out ohand but also kept it secret for many years.Obama does not care he wants this thing to bea catastrophe of epic proportions and that is why he is doing nothing!!Same thing he is doing with Border Security-Ariozona is getting RAPED and people murdered everyday by the influx of drugs and criminals from MEXICO but nothing is being done about it and BO sayd hey if you guys defend yourself I am going to label you racists and abuse my position and bully pulpit to attack you daily(I dont give a fukk about You guys so F you) Obama wants things so far out of hand he can rile the people up so he can PUSH such far sweeping regulations it wil make CHAVEZ look like a non interfering Tyrant mofo in comparison. Oh no a crisis I need to take over EVERYTHING and sell assets so I can line the pockets of my UNION buddies,Acorn, and any other racist radicals that I conspire with. Shoot lets make a new bill to give my UNION buddies that got me Erected(oops elected but i am sure there was an erection involved in there somewhere)hmm let’s say $165 BILLION of tax payers money muahahahahaha I told them i would transform AMERIKA!! hahaha hohoho hehehe I am an evil mofo but I CONTROL YOU…YOU MUST OBEY or i wil send the SS and CIA after you…I am a power hungry TYRANT and F U you poor peons!!!

    Yeah what is he supposed to do? His job finally anything is better then raping the people and redistributing the wealth to all his crooked felons he has in his administration-cult/gang of thugs and liars and rapist murdering theives!! Bush spied on suspected terrorists,well Obama labels you a Terrorist as an American citizen and authorizes Assisination of American Citiens if you happen to be labeled by his racist bigoted thugs in control of Homeland SecurityRemeebr al those veterans coming bnack from Iraq,mostly white and males.We have to watch them because they are the most likely to be terrorists in our EYES( they believe ain freedom and rights and WE will have none of that- SO SAYETH THE TRIUMPHIRATE OF EVIL OBAA,PELOSI AND REID AND shoot CLINTON IS A MEMBER IN TRAINING)

    • collapse expand

      You conspiracy theorists should back down off the hyperbole a little bit. No one pays attention to your tirades except other right-wing paranoiacs. And by constantly comparing Obama to history’s biggest monsters and implying some kind of allegience to global socialism (and please, Obama couldn’t be deeper in the pocket of American capitalism if he were travel-sized) you guys are just crying wolf over and over again, and thereby providing cover for his real failings. Now any time anyone tries to point out the fact Obama really isn’t doing that great of a job, we just get dismissed as Palin-loving nutjobs, and Obama gets another free pass. You really aren’t helping.

      Remember when Bush was in office, and the streets were full of people calling him a Nazi? This following a very nazi-esque illegal invasion to ‘protect’ America from phantasmal threats? Did you take it seriously, or did it become some kind of joke? Meanwhile he ran the economy into the ground and the deficit into the stratosphere spending trillions chasing $10 terrorists with $1,000,000 bombs. Hyperbole is in vogue BECAUSE it provides cover for more business as usual.

      Just imagine if instead of fixating on posters with Obama-as-hitler and loudmouths screaming about secret muslims and Kenyan Manchurian candidates, they were forced to cover all of the genuine unrest and disatisfaction over fat-cat bail-outs? Why the government may actually be shamed into siding with the tax payers instead of laughing it all off with non-stop coverage of lunatic conspiracists!

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  6. collapse expand

    haha I see you have the same minset as Obama -

    Maybe it would be possible if the media highlighted these realities, and citizens demanded real, comprehensive change from Washington. I hope you’re right, and this environmental disaster is so bad that it inspires real change. Unfortunately, as you point out, no one is raising these issues.

    Create such utter destruction or do nothing to make it become 100 times worse so you can achieve your AGENDA no matter who suffers for it. As long as you get your CHANGE and control over veryone. You are an evil little troll and a hate mongerer. You have the gal to call other warmongerers? LMAO how hypocritically bigoted of you. I have to say TYPICAL of your kind though.. Everyone else is evil but you who wants to comntrol everyone else and made them bow down to what you believe in are of course ALWAYS RIGHT(oops i mean far far far left)…Are you sure one of your group didn’t blow up this rig to serve the same Agena you are calling for? That would be more typical..create the disaster so you can get everyone against the evil corporation even though it was yoyu that destroyed the environment with your terroristic ways.

  7. collapse expand

    Allison this statement above all else really shows what kind of evil person you truly are —- I hope you’re right, and this environmental disaster is so bad that it inspires real change…

    You wish terrible things on the environment and the people so you can use that terrible deed to get what you want. Truly evil w(b)itch!! You disgust me but i have heard these same digusting vile crap spewed from others of your ilk all the time. Just disgusting is all i can say . How can you live with yourself? oh thats right you have no heart or soul and care nothing about others. yeah far far far left as can be. =( so sad there are people in the word like you….Killed any little babies lately? Raped anyone? Murdered anyone for your own insideous sadistic pleasure? VOMITTTTT

  8. collapse expand

    Allison? What percentage of energy production comes from wind and solar? How fast can it be increased to meet demand? Not fast enough for energy independence EVER I would guess. Can we keep the earth clean by digging up dirty rare earth minerals to supply chemicals and magnets for batteries, windmill and hybrid cars? PBS news does not think so.

    PBS NewsHour: Are Rare Earth Minerals Too Costly for Environment?
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/asia/july-dec09/china_12-14.html

    I would seriously argue the only way we can get off foreign oil is for us to minimize our movements as much as possible, using powered transportation only for emergency. Soon we won’t have to make the decision as a matter of policy as we’ve already reached the end of cheap oil.

    National Geographic: The End of Cheap Oil
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0406/feature5/

    And if that is not bad enough, it is shameful how food is used to produce fuel more and more. Soon a majority of people in the US will not be able to afford food and energy without a government handout. Extreme conservation is the answer and politics should have nothing to do with it.

    Unfortunately it does for now.

  9. collapse expand

    The agenda of The Most Transparent Administration Ever is as clear as the Gulf waters:

    As BP makes its latest attempt to plug its gushing oil well, news photographers are complaining that their efforts to document the slow-motion disaster in the Gulf of Mexico are being thwarted by local and federal officials—working with BP—who are blocking access to the sites where the effects of the spill are most visible. More than a month into the disaster, a host of anecdotal evidence is emerging from reporters, photographers, and TV crews in which BP and Coast Guard officials explicitly target members of the media, restricting and denying them access to oil-covered beaches, staging areas for clean-up efforts, and even flyovers.

    Oil-bomba!

  10. collapse expand

    Some people like Mike Ruppert , Jim Kunstler and Matt Simmons and many others are saying that the economic crises is the result of Peak Oil. It makes sense to me. It would explain the rush to drill baby drill.
    Maybe the word within the Harvard cognoscenti running the country is that we have to get all the oil we can no matter what the costs either environmental or monetarily.
    Aimlow joe was here.
    http://www.aimlow.com

  11. collapse expand

    I don’t know if Obama is still issuing permits, because I haven’t researched it. I do know that he said just the other day that this disaster, more than ever, reinforces our need to invest in energy resources other than fossil fuels.

    I also know that he isn’t going to expand drilling – he’s expanding A BAN on drilling.

    Try getting your facts straight if you claim to be a reporter. Unless you’re not an investigative reporter, but just a regurgitating one.

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    About Me

    I co-host Citizen Radio, the alternative political radio show. I am a contributing reporter to Huffington Post, Alternet.org, and The Nation.

    My essay "Youth Surviving Subprime" appears in The Nation's new book, Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover beside esssays by Ralph Nader, Joseph Stiglitz, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Naomi Klein, who I'm told are all important people.

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