BP in Charge of our Environment & Wall Street Banksters in Charge of our Economy.

The Washington Post is reporting that the federal agency in charge of regulating offshore oil drilling repeatedly ignored warnings from government scientists about risks to the environment in a push to quickly approve energy exploration activities.

Also, an inspector general report discovered that during the Bush administration, regulators allowed industry officials to fill out their own inspection reports in pencil and the regulators themselves then traced over the pencil writing in pen and signed off on the reports.

We are seeing, in the Gulf, the predictable result of "small government" Libertarianism/Republicanism that protects monopolies and turns regulation of activities that could use or damage the commons over to monopolistic corporations. George W. Bush put Samuel Bodman in charge of the Department of Energy, for example, for the same reason that Reagan put Bill Bennett in charge of the Department of Education - both men had called for the elimination of the agencies they were put in charge of.

Combine that with a horse judge lawyer running FEMA and the damage done over the past thirty years of Reaganomics and so-called "small government" policies leads to disaster.

It's time for both the administration and our media to start talking about the important and useful functions of government, and how they should be funded.

And particularly for our media to start calling out these so-called "small government" cranks on the stupidity of their policies of putting BP in charge of our environment and monopolistic giant Wall Street Banksters in charge of our economy.


Pablito's picture
Pablito 14 years 4 weeks ago

Gee! Thom stop calling on Eric Holder to do investigation for crissakes!

He is another Mukasey.

Eric Holder will do nothing just like Obama will do nothing.

All these guys answer to Corporations.

mikal's picture
mikal 14 years 4 weeks ago

Thom, wondering if anybody has talked to the Brazilians about this leak. My wife's cousin works for a company that sells deep-water drilling equipment to Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company, which has a presence in the Gulf. He(the wife's cousin) said in a recent conversation that Petrobras engineers could help with this. He himself is an engineer that develops this deep-water drilling equipment, and remarked that they've got him working on equipment to drill 3000 meters now. As you remarked today, Brazil is on top of this stuff.

MLT 14 years 4 weeks ago

Once again, the root of all evil, the core element of private and national dysfunction is the cozy relationships of corporations and elections. As you all have consistently pointed out on this program, CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM is the what all 'reasoning', 'decision-making' and 'explanations' and "excuses" return to. One can easily trace this oil drilling disaster back to 'who really chooses the winner of our national campaigns' and that is corporation. Those who deal have a chance of being re-elected, while those who don't will surely lose. I believe there is a hope in hell at this juncture that if Obama broke away from this usual destructive path, he could win again with an intense personal money campaign and at the least, go down in history as a president with genuine courage as oppossed to just another player, that was 'oh well atleast he was better than Bush'. No doubt your information and venue is one powerful source that even makes this possibility even a possibility. Knowledge is power forever and ever. It is so hard to keep the fight going when there power is already so so so embedded and big. I fear only a few will truly understand and hear how and why this oil disaster and response is what it is!

4notorture's picture
4notorture 14 years 4 weeks ago

Thom - The appropriate regulatory agency should fine BP $100 Million a day for failure to prevent the spill and failure to have adequate proceedures for handling the spill. If BP refuses to pay up for the last 30 + days within 1 week all of their other leases should be frozen until the spill is cleaned up and the fine is paid. $ is the only way to move things ...

Oldkatt's picture
Oldkatt 14 years 4 weeks ago

My answer to your question,

"What would you do if you were president?" is this :

I would issue an executive order to stop ALL offshore drilling immediately.

mstaggerlee's picture
mstaggerlee 14 years 4 weeks ago

It all comes down to priorities. The volcano of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is indeed BP's "top priority" right now. But WHAT aspect of the problem are they concentrating on - how are they focusing their efforts.

As a corporation, BP has but a single mission - to make money. Thus their priority is to find a way to minimise their own corporate losses due to the blowout. Their priorities DO NOT include the following:

1) Species diversity in the Gulf.

2) The Gulf environment

3) The people who earn their living from the Gulf.

Who cares about the above? THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT!! ... or at least it SHOULD! BP has no reason to care. That's why this disaster should be handled by the Government, NOT by a profit driven corporation.

Foodfascist's picture
Foodfascist 14 years 4 weeks ago

Caller to Ed Schultz show said BP could have capped this well awhile ago via equalization of pressure. Here is his company http://www.wisedomeinc.com/

I will side with Bobby Jindahl to say that if there are sand booms that can be constructed, the federal goverment should do so and send the bill to BP. These could be used to protect the coral like a filter pack inside a water filter. However, an undaunting task, but those people are out of work anyway and no doubt want to help. We need to focus on remediation right now.

There should also be animal capture and relocation teams going out and looking for our dolphin and whale friends and detour them from going near the spill or the trace of the spill.

RandyWinn's picture
RandyWinn 14 years 4 weeks ago

1. Invoke Public Emergency exception to regulations currently slowing approval of shoreline defenses, such as the sand barriers Jindhal wants. Some mistakes will be made but assuming Jindhal's working in good faith, ordinary rules must not be barriers.

2. Reverse the emergency's command structure: put the Navy in charge of stopping the leak, with BP as prime contractor and the Coast Guard, which has failed, as a command subordinate. The Guard should never have taken the word of BP, an interested party, in this emergency.

3. Impound BP's existing supertankers, send them to the Gulf and start skimming the oil into them.

4. Freeze new offshore drilling; make up the difference by stopping the burning of crazy amounts of oil fighting wars on the other side of the planet.

Foodfascist's picture
Foodfascist 14 years 4 weeks ago


Subject: Tell EPA: Take away BP's billions in federal contracts

Dear Friend,

It's time to stop playing BP's games and make the company take responsibility for the pattern of reckless behavior that led to the growing Deep Horizon disaster in the gulf.

The Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to bar BP from receiving U.S. government contracts. Suspension of BP contracts would mean the loss of billions of dollars and effectively stop the company from drilling in federally controlled oil fields both on and offshore.

I just signed the petition to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson asking her to impose "discretionary debarment" and strip BP of all federal contracts. You can take action too by clicking on the link below.



Brad Brown's picture
Brad Brown 14 years 4 weeks ago

It might be time to revisit Dubya's purchase of land in Paraguay -- atop the largest aquifer in the world (Guarani) near Chaco. Also, large natural gas reserves and marijuana fields. Sounds like survivalist to me ... bring about apocalypse, we don't care. By-the-way, since the US is now providing substantial funds to Paraguay in exchange for allowing our _military personnel_ there. Much SA coverage of this, but not much in the US.


scobiewon's picture
scobiewon 14 years 4 weeks ago

Why are we drilling off shore? We have 2% world's oil reserves but use 25%. Every drop oil that we drill for, goes onto the World Exchange in Rotterdam, Holland. We get 25% of that oil. For every tax $ that we subsize the oil companies we get $0.25 of oil. The rest of the world get $0.75. This is a redistribution of wealth, from the US taxpayer to the rest of the world. And we are taking all of the risks.

DancinDave's picture
DancinDave 14 years 4 weeks ago

Its not all that bad.

If we continue to use unsustainable energy to power our society, we'll all die out and the next dominate species on the planet can use our fossils for oil!

kengkendall's picture
kengkendall 14 years 4 weeks ago

Tampa Bay readied for evacution!


While listening to your show, I saw an article that stated Tampa Bay FL is being prepared for evacuations in case toxic fumes from the oil burnoff heads east.

I watched the 60 minute piece on the oil rig disaster, BP cared more about profits than safety. It is corporate terrorism, with the blessing of the Bush Administration, and lack of insight by the Obama Administration.

Also I recently registered with the Green Party in CA. Progressive can remain Independant, but why continue to vote for the two headed monster?

Ken in Torrance CA.

charell's picture
charell 14 years 4 weeks ago

The most important thing right now is to STOP THIS OIL SPILL ASAP! This is a serious problem for the whole world, not just America.

If I were Obama I would assemble a team of the top experts from AROUND THE WORLD. We need the best of the best from governments and private industry--the best minds and the best equipment. We have to immediately put a tourniquet on this thing before Revelation 16:3 comes true! We can sort out who to blame and prosecute when the bleeding has stopped.

Revelation 16:3 (Amplified Bible)
The second [angel] emptied his bowl (of God's wrath) into the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a corpse [thick, corrupt, ill-smelling, and disgusting], and every living thing that was in the sea perished.

Hopi Prophecy,
"This is the Seventh Sign: You will hear of the sea turning black, and many living things dying because of it."

maxguy8's picture
maxguy8 14 years 4 weeks ago

Way to many people willingly drank the Kool Aid when it came to Obama. He is and all ways has been nothing more than you typical slick, slimy palpitation. He was never a Washington outsider he had clear plans for the White house and set about getting there when he first started in public office. His campaign eluded to change with out ever being clear about what it was or real specific on how they would accomplish change. The fact he is perhaps the best orator of his generation, allowed him to generate this false hope, then people filled in the blanks in there own minds. He is not a strong enough leader to actually stand up and deal with this issue. Why? MONEY.

My hope would be that groups like PD American come up with a viable actual progressive candidate that gets in early and at least forces him to face up to his deceptions during the primary. Obma will get the nomination in 12 because of the political debts people will owe him and his war chest, but maybe just maybe someone who is actually a progressive can get the conversation going during the debates.

Blue Mark's picture
Blue Mark 14 years 4 weeks ago

Why doesn't offshore drilling have built in fail-safes?

Most major industrial systems are designed to automatically shut down if anything seriously goes wrong - for instance nuclear power stations. Why not offshore wells? I'm not even talking about a remotely triggered blowout preventer like the Dipsh*t Horizon didn't have, but something that shuts down if, for example, it stops receiving an all-clear signal.

Jennifer Aument's picture
Jennifer Aument 14 years 4 weeks ago

Thom, all I want to hear out of our presidents mouth is what the hell he's doing to stop this oil spill. That is the only thing that matters at this point in time - all other business should be put on the back burner until the oil stops. The BP execs should be thrown in jail until they answer our questions and stay there if we don't like their answers. I don't give a damn about the small business initiative right now, maybe after every drop of this toxic mess is cleaned up. Where is the friggin outrage? I'm so mad I can't even see straight.

Jennifer Aument's picture
Jennifer Aument 14 years 4 weeks ago

Oh, and I just heard that the director of the dispursant company BP is using, Nalco, worked for BP for 23 years. Is this true?

stopgap's picture
stopgap 14 years 4 weeks ago

Let's stop screwing around and send the worlds greatest oil expert--Sara Palin and the worlds greatest plumber--"Joe The Plumber", down to the Gulf and get this leak fixed and this mess cleaned up. Hell, if we had sent'em down there when this happened, this would have been over weeks ago. What are we think'n?

nonclassical's picture
nonclassical 14 years 3 weeks ago

Thom, Is Obama THIS SMART??..could it be that he is allowing B.P. to continue control of it's OIL SPILL in order to SHOW the American people for election 2012, that the PRIVATE SECTOR really isn't the best way..that in fact, there is a huge place for government oversight, transparency, accountability...? Now we are seeing anti-government Republi$$K$$an (K is for "K-Street") Governor Jindal wailing for government aide in controlling the oil spill. Is it true FDRism, shoving in the face of Republi$$K$$an ideologues, the FACT that ONLY government can be powerful enough to stand up to the corporatocracy..? (Let's remember Bernie Sanders last Friday on "Breakfast with Bernie"; "4 investment banks control 50% of U.S. GDP")

Let's also remember Bushit-Enron powerplay in California; Bush: "We are allowing the FREE MARKET to work itself out"..(the SEC some months later): "We knew what was going on all along". And, what was going on all along; Enron had MONOPOLIZED California energy supplies=gave Bushitters impetus to dump California's Democratic Governor-replace him with "The Governator".

Is it at all possible Obama is power-politicing this way?

I am in NO WAY in the Obama camp, in asking this question; not after Obama subsidies to private profits of healthcare insurers...I am also against his subsidizing nuclear industry construction (and insurance against disaster), and drilling offshore for oil, and especially not after inadequate "re-regulation" proposals of Wall Street-Derivatives-Short Sellers-Commodiities Speculators...nontheless, it is fair to ask if Obama is REALLY THIS SMART, in allowing B.P. to hang itself, AND Republi$$K$$an "FREE MARKET SHOULD REGULATE ITSELF" think-tank ideologues....

JuanM 14 years 3 weeks ago

Let us imagine what would happen if you I owned a tugboat or truck. I wonder what would happen to us if, due to our negligent maintenance, the diesel fuel in the tanks leaked out of its tanks and washed into a stream or bay.

I am sure that local, state and federal law enforcement and environmental quality agencies jump on us with both feet. We would probably have our bank accounts frozen, have liens against our properties and would have a good chance of ending up in jail.

Why hasn’t this happened to the mega-polluter BP? Have liens been filed against BP assets. ? Have their corporate records been subpoenaed? Are the CEO, the COO and other responsible parties facing prison time or are they just sitting back waiting for their bonuses?

Does BP stand for Big Polluter or Beyond Prosecution?

pureluck 14 years 3 weeks ago

Hey, does everyone know that there's a *live* video cam of the gushing oil at the following link:


Notice the time stamp. This is live. This is horrifying. Every second. While we eat. While we sleep. For the last 36 days. This is a monster. Seriously.

JuanM 14 years 3 weeks ago

What did we fight a war for at the founding of our country if it wasn't to fight off British merchantilism that was ruining our country?

for more


dlh604's picture
dlh604 14 years 3 weeks ago

This spill is not Obama's Katrina, no it's much worse than 9/11. It's sort of like what would have happened if 9/11 were not shown on TV around the world. Sure there's a difference between numbers of people directly killed, but then 9/11 didn't wipe out several important species. Then look at the root cause of both events - yup petroleum. Now imagine a world where the response to 9/11 was to spend the 3 trillion on alternate energy sources instead of wars. As much as I hated seeing Goerge Bush's post 9/11 declaration of WW III, I'd like to see an equivalent response, maybe a declaration of peace on the environment.BTW, what corporation was responsible for operating the Alaska pipeline and spill response? Alyeska: primary partner in the consortium was BP as documented by Greg Palast.

Rodger97321's picture
Rodger97321 14 years 3 weeks ago

Dog-whistle lingo: GOP + BP

Now that you've introduced the dog-whistle language concept to me (yes, some of us old dogs can get hep to new tricks) I've been trying to pay better attention.

The "Obama's Katrina" campaign seems to have coincided with the "Operation: Top Kill" terminology.

What a surprise.

hal tapkins's picture
hal tapkins 14 years 3 weeks ago

The Gulf is being killed! Obama needs to defend our country! Our Military needs to be defending our shores!! Obama must declare a national emergency, declare victory in Afganistan and Iraq, deploy those troops to the Gulf and task the Military with protecting our homeland here. There is an unbelievable, massive clean up looming just over the HORIZON, and Obama needs to be gathering the forces and materials needed to defend our country. Bp can foot the bill--but Obama needs to launch a visible mobilizization or he will be blamed for the greatest enviromental destruction we have ever seen.

hal tapkins's picture
hal tapkins 14 years 3 weeks ago

Chevron? Shell? Citgo?

Obama needs to cretat a task force of the major oil companies who have deep water drilling operations, and assign them the task of stopping this leak. Bp would be a part of this taskforce, but they must be removed from being the lead! This same disaster could have occurred on any of these deep sea platforms, and these other companies need to contribute to the solution.

hal tapkins's picture
hal tapkins 14 years 3 weeks ago

International drilling standards

Our planet needs to have international standards for oil drilling! I was incredulous to learn that some Scandanavian countries require a remote acoustic switch for the "Blow Out Preventors" and that Canada requires that a relief well be drilled at the same time as the main well. These requirements seem so basic!! What about other countries? If it is possible for anything good to come out of this disaster, mayhaps it would be the establishment of international standards. Surely, at a minimum, the protection of the enviroment of our planet requires nothing less!!

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