Blogs » Politcs Plus » GOP apologizes to BP


I couldn't believe that I heard a congressman from Texas, Joe Barton, apologizing to BP's CEO Tony Hayward, for what he called a $20 billion shakedown by the Federal government, to his point he meant President Barack Obama;a Chicago shakedown.. House minority leader, John Boehner forced the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to retract his statements or lose his leadership position. Joe Barton eventually apologized for the apology, but the damage was already done. Joe Barton is not alone, all the right wing talking heads, the Heritage Foundation, Newt Gingrich, and the Tea Party were all using the same talking points the day before Joe Barton made his opening remarks. Minnesota's Michelle Bachman called it the redistribution of wealth. The $20 billion escrow account and the $100 million, BP set aside for workers of the rigs that were shut down due to the moratorium, will bring immediate relief to the distressed area. This avoids the normal multiyear wait, as the offenders use all their legal methods to avoid paying full restitution. To my knowledge, this is the first time it has ever been done through mutual agreement and to boot, before civil or criminal litigation.

I was disappointed that president Obama gave in to Governor Bobby Jindal's request for a “Just do something" strategy that might lead to complications. The governor wants to erect 45 miles of berms, an artificial offshore island, to catch the deposits of oil before they hit the marshes. This operation has never been tried but our illustrious Army Core of Engineers (remember the New Orleans dikes) have put their stamp of approval on this project, at a cost of $360 million. The Federal government (taxpayers) will front the money and hope for repayment. Some marine biologists believe, they could be a real problem because they could block off inlets that carry water to the marshes they are supposed to protect; not allowing organisms that need to move in and out with tidal flushing. If these berms break, they could allow the onrushing oil to reach shore at a much faster pace; that's not even considering tropical storms or hurricanes. What's that old line" It's not nice to mess with Mother Nature."

When Sarah Pailin told Bill O'Reilly, that the administration should seek the help of the Dutch because they are experts in these types of situations, the right wing went out in full blast repeating her words. You would think, they just would pick up an unfiltered newspaper once in a while, and then they would know that the Washington Post had a story about what countries contributed and what they offered. I.e."In late May, the administration accepted Mexico's offer of two skimmers and 13,779 feet of boom; a Dutch offer of three sets of Koseq sweeping arms, which attach to the sides of ships and gather oil; and eight skimming systems offered by Norway.

Currently there are about 23 oil companies drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and last year they extracted about 584 billion barrels of oil, of which BP was the largest player with a 24% share. Bottom line: the states along the Gulf minus Florida, need the jobs; regardless of the potential hazards. We have to keep in mind that none of the 23 oil companies have a plan for the worst case scenario. I think a moratorium is a must.

Jon Stewart always puts it in perspective .The other night, he showed some video clips of past presidents ,from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush, telling us that we need a we need to get off oil and switch to alternative fuels. After 40 years of lip service, our country has not won over the enormous power of big oil. I was surprised that George H. W. Bush did not make one trip to Alaska, to view the devastation, the Valdez’s 10.8 million gallons of crude spill; left. Congress did respond with the 1990 Oil Pollution Act, but the president never required Exxon to contribute to an escrow fund, so some of the claimants had to wait about 20 years to receive some type of compensation; if they lived that long. Perhaps, President George H.W. Bush was thinking of those poor Exxon's shareholders, 401Ks, and IRAs instead of the fishermen, trappers, and those than lived along the coast of Prince William Sound.

Instead of concentrating on the spill itself, restoration after the spill, and keeping most of the oil offshore; we have this political battleground where the right is suspicious that the democrats will gain some sort of advantage in steering us to alternative fuel legislation. That awful "tax" word will come up, causing them to go into convulsions. Not to worry, they are enough democrats to stop a “Carbon tax" or a Cap-and-Trade bill. We will just have to slowly wean off fossil fuels; even if it takes another 40 years of lip service.