The Only American Part of BP was the BP Oil Disaster

The LA Times is reporting that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in the Gulf "was built in South Korea. It was operated by a Swiss company under contract to a British oil firm. Primary responsibility for safety and other inspections rested not with the U.S. government but with the Republic of the Marshall Islands — a tiny, impoverished nation in the Pacific Ocean. And the Marshall Islands, a maze of tiny atolls, many smaller than the ill-fated oil rig, outsourced many of its responsibilities to private companies." On the other hand, early reports from survivors of the Deepwater Horizon explosion say that the problem was a major shouting-match fight between a BP official on the rig and a Deepwater Horizon official about how to cut costs and move action faster. The BP official won, the company saved money, and the rig blew up. CBS, which did the interview of the Deepwater Horizon survivor who told the story of the fight between the rig operator and the BP official, has since scrubbed the interview from its website, and President Obama, rather than vilifying the corporate criminals involved, is trying to shift the conversation to failures in the Minerals and Management Service, the government agency that had oversight over the permits for drilling. In that, he's following the first rule of modern American politics: Don't pick on the poor transnational corporations - they may well fund your next election campaign.

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