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BP’s ‘Spin Control’ Continues, as Oil Reaches Barataria Estuary System


Full coverage at Huffington Post

“… The thing you need to be terrified about is there might be no way to put this out other than waiting for the giant oil (inaudible) to deplete, which would be 9,000 days. So what they’re already worried about is that it’s going to take (the oil) out of the Gulf of Mexico.” – Matthew Simons, Simmons & Co. International (energy advisor George W. Bush administration), on Dylan Ratigan

Where’s the outrage from the Obama administration? As Mike Papantanio said on “Hardball,” we need Obama to sound like “Huey Long, not like Ghandi.” BP’s missing deadline after deadline. They’re corporate felons. The Obama administration’s current trajectory is madness.

Mr. Axelrod simply isn’t credible. He further proved it when he said “they’re company is literally at stake here” on “Hardball.” “Every second that oil pours out of that pipe that’s more money from BP,” Axelrod added, because we all are so worried about BP’s financial solvency. Not one word about the environment from Axelrod, no empathy at all. It was all about saying the White House is “deeply involved,” trying to push back on the reality that the Administration looks out of its depth on leadership alone.

“This isn’t a rig fire, this is a blowout,” said Simmons. He knew immediately that what had just occurred from seeing the shots was catastrophic. He also mentioned the Navy dropping a bomb down the well and to cave it in. The risk? According to Simmons, there isn’t one, especially when compared to what’s going on right now. Adding that “we have to figure out some way to do anything possible to figure out how to stop this ‘blowout.” Simmons also made a point of reminding people that “for 41 years conventional offshore drilling had a “perfect safety record. … We can do conventional drilling. We just can’t do ultra-deep formation” drilling, which BP should never have attempted.

Leave it to Eliot Spitzer, never one to mince words when it comes to corporate marauders, to say that he would go to the military and the Coast Guard, saying “I don’t care who is responsible. How do you shut it down?” Spitzer adding: “Don’t hide behind who the responsible party is.”

This drives home the point I’ve been making. BP has another goal altogether: save what’s left of the company’s reputation, cut costs, hide the evidence. Spitzer equated it to saying Wall Street is responsible for the meltdown, but we’re not going to do anything about it. Precisely.

Only Pres. Obama can take over the situation and tell the military to shut it down. When you have a disaster of this magnitude, which we knew two weeks ago was escalating, because BP obviously didn’t have contingency plans or back-up in place for a worst case scenario, bold action was required long before now. You simply don’t wait around saying “BP’s responsible,” when they’re not getting the job done.

Move in. Take Over. BP can cry later.

Simmons also offered that he was actually optimistic two weeks ago, but today he clearly is not. But now, “we know almost nothing,” because BP is “so intent on spin” that we can’t figure out what is true and what isn’t. Along with Eliot Spitzer, the urgency communicated by Simmons was palpable.

Capt. Dave Ballay, retired marina owner, said that the oil has moved into the Barataria National Estuary system, which is about as depressing as it gets. “It’s too late. It’s in there now,” said Ballay. What people don’t understand about estuaries and natural habitat is that even to clean it up, to quote Ballay, “man’s footprint is as bad as oil.”

Meanwhile, during a press conference today in Louisiana, Sen. Dick Durbin said he’d arranged the trip today “on short notice.” Is he kidding? We’re past the 30-day mark, so one might ask why this wasn’t planned over two weeks ago.

Gov. Bobby Jindal was clearly not fully satisfied that he was getting what Louisiana needs fast enough. His delivery was heartfelt and urgent in nature.

Meanwhile Sect. Ken Salazar invoked the “boot on the neck” reference, reiterating BP’d pay for it.

“I am angry and I am frustrated that BP has been unable to stop this well from leaking and to stop the pollution from spreading. We are 33 days into this effort and deadline after deadline has been missed,” Salazar said at a press conference after meeting with BP officials in Houston. – The Hill

As for Sen. Landrieu, she gave a political speech. So much for righteous indignation against BP, until she said that “BP will make you whole” if you’re a business owner and can’t replicate your earnings from last year.

“If you made $50,000 last year, and you can’t work this year, BP is going to write you a check for $50,000. If you made $1 million last year, and you can’t work this year, BP is going to make your business whole.” – Sen. Mary Landrieu

To add, Ed Schultz said, “We checked with the White House twice today and they could not confirm that.”

All I could think was, get Al Gore. At least we could trust what he’s saying and he’d move in and get it done, because he knows the damage this is causing and feels it to his core.

The respected Thad Allen acknowledged it’s because BP, thus the private sector, that caused the spill and it’s their responsibility to clean it up. In the press briefing, he also said that he is “satisfied with the coordination going on,” then later said, but “the government doesn’t have everything it needs to solve this problem.”

There is, however, no excuse for the Obama administration just now deciding it was time for Thad Allen to brief publicly. I was on a conference call some time ago with Mr. Allen, John Brennan and Denis McDonough, so it certainly could have been done.

I’m not going to quibble with Com. Allen’s expertise, but I will say his boss on this job is Pres. Obama and the U.S. government. That he went out of his way to separate civil and federal responsibility sent a message to me, whether it was intended or not.

Again, at this point no one should care who is responsible. Move in. Shut it down by whatever means possible.

This has been Pres. Obama’s responsibility for over 30 days. That after four weeks and counting he hasn’t figured out the fierce urgency of calamity extremely, and is still trusting BP is disheartening. If he had any love for nature and the creatures on which our planet exists perhaps things would be turning out differently.

That the oil has reached the Barataria Estuary breaks my heart.

This post has been updated.

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