Now The Daily Beast has obtained a document-displayed below-that goes to the heart of BP procedures, demonstrating that before the company’s previous major disaster-at a moment when the oil giant could choose between cost-savings and greater safety-it selected cost-savings. And BP chose to illustrate that choice, without irony, by invoking the classic Three Little Pigs fairy tale. – The Daily Beast
“The political stupidity of this is unbelievable. … I have no idea of why they didn’t seize this thing. I have no idea of why their attitude was so handsoffy here. … The president of the United States could’ve come down here, he could’ve been involved with the families of these 11 people… He could’ve demanded a plan in anticipation of this. It just looks like he’s not involved in this. You got to get down here and take control of this, put somebody in charge of this thing and get this moving.” – James Carville
A majority of people now disapprove of how Pres. Obama has handled BP’s blowout calamity. The bad reviews from Americans, regardless of political party, has been earned.
On the BBC’s program “World Have Your Say” yesterday, the two experts on the show, one from a spill company, the other from academia, seemed not only at a loss to take on BP, but seemed to have no idea of how some corporations work in cover up situations where the liability can be catastrophic. The spill expert saying that BP was one of the best, which experts I’ve talked to have rebutted, but also that they have a financial stake in solving the problem. What neither of these people get is that BP is in damage control to limit the damage people can see, which is why chemical dispersants were chosen by the ton, even though Louisiana officials begged the EPA not to allow the dumping, as Joe Scarborough reported today on “Morning Joe,” after seeing documents that prove it. The feds allowed the action by BP anyway, becoming complicit in destroying an ecosystem more than the oil itself. I also said that BP had done this well on the cheap, to which the spill company representative disagreed totally, saying by using Transocean that charge was simply untrue. Experts give a side of things that is important, but they are too naive by half when it comes to the politics of catastrophe, so are worthless in giving the public the reality of what’s playing out before our eyes.
Now we learn that BP ignored the warning signs that a blowout was coming. From the New York Times.
In the hours before the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded last month in the Gulf of Mexico, there were strong warning signs that something was terribly wrong with the well, according to a Congressional committee that was briefed on the accident by executives from BP.
Among the red flags, the panel said, were several equipment readings suggesting that gas was bubbling into the well, a potential sign of an impending blowout. Investigators also noted “other events in the 24 hours before the explosion that require further inquiry,” including a critical decision to replace heavy mud in the pipe rising from the seabed with seawater, possibly increasing the risk of an explosion. […]
When a company knows or gets warnings that puts people’s lives in danger, but they ignore those warnings and people die, the only question is whether it’s pre-meditated murder or simply manslaughter, though I imagine it’s the latter. We need to quit playing footsies with corporate criminals and instead hold them accountable by a standard that fits.
As for Pres. Obama, last night he was yucking it up at a fundraiser for Sen. Boxer. It was a deplorable spectacle as bad as anything George W. Bush did during Katrina.
I also find the reported “plug the damn leak” line from Obama, delivered with clenched jaw, unimpressive.
Another real issue is that over decades, going back to Ronald Reagan, we have deregulated and hobbled federal agencies, something on which the Democrats are complicit in order to gain corporate money and support, making the oil industry a self-regulating business.
Pres. Obama proved it by allowing BP to take point in a disaster they caused through what is looking like malicious intent and corporate indifference at the outcome of cutting costs and safety.
Part of what BP’s job is, besides stopping a leak on a well that should never have been drilled in the first place, is to keep as much visual damage from meeting the public’s eyes as possible. It’s one reason why disperants were used by the ton, to keep it under the ocean, even as the chemicals destroy an entire ecosystem that may never come back. It’s why in Mobile, AL it was reported that BP was using companies associated with them to count wildlife and birds killed from the oil coming on shore, so they could cover up how badly the natural habitat has been decimated by their callous corporate malfeasance.
Pres. Obama has not acquitted himself well so far during this national calamity. Dropping by the Gulf on Friday giving a speech isn’t likely to change the reality that he has remained paralyzed since it began. Every representative from the Obama administration who has been presented on camera has been an embarrassment. The fact that the federal gov. is a monstrosity with no power, having ceded it to the oil industry decades ago, doesn’t excuse having bumbling bureaucrats on camera play acting the role of outraged Obama minion in place of the Barack Obama doing it himself. The part where Mr. Obama is supposed to feel our pain, feel the dying life in the Gulf Coast region and transmit that outrage into immediate action, has been completely missing. The man can still make great speeches, but as a leader in crisis he has failed miserably.
“Eleven people are killed because of multinational corporate greed, malfeasance and possibly criminal negligence? I think Franklin Roosevelt would have jumped out of his wheelchair and run down here to be in the middle of this.” – James Carville