Message to O'bama regarding the Gulf Oil Spill - "OWN IT!"

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I’m not a republican or a member of the tea-party. Also, more today than at any point in my life, am I no longer a democrat. My “independent” philosophy from here on out is simply that politicians are a lot like diapers because sooner or later they both need to be changed for the same reason. Democrats included.

I get offended when people try to blame the Gulf Oil spill on the previous administration. This shows a lack of respect to the American people.

O’bama appointed Ken Salazar knowing that he took $323,000 in campaign contributions from energy interests and backed more offshore drilling as a U.S. senator. According to the Kierán Suckling of the Center for Biological Diversity Salazar approved

twenty-seven new offshore drilling projects since April 20, 2010 (the date of the Deepwater Horizon’s explosion) twenty-six under the same illegal environmental review exemption (created by the National Environmental Policy Act for minimally intrusive actions like building outhouses and hiking trails) used on the apocryphal oil gusher in the gulf.

If you think Bush’s deregulation contributed to the Gulf Oil Spill, then you should have no trouble concluding that Salazar also had a hand in it.

O’bama also appointed Mr. William K. Reilly to chair O'bama's National Commission on Energy Policy. William K. Reilly sits on the board of ConocoPhillips, which has a number of joint ventures with BP, including the massive Tiber field in the Gulf of Mexico.

All told, there are just as many “Oily” appointments in the White House’s oversight of the Oil and Gas industry as there are wall street “Banksters” and “little Rubins” in the oversight of the economy.

Then there is the Congress and Senate. They add emphasis to the administrations current proclivities. For instance, consider the The “American Power Act” that Kierán Suckling calls a disaster for the Planet and Climate. The Center for Biological Diversity, (that has already notified Salazar that a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior is forthcoming) and Reuters, May 12, 2010, article by By Richard Cowan and Timoth Gardner characterize the Act as follows:


“After many months of back-room negotiations between senators, major polluters, and Washington insiders, on May 12 U.S. Senators John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., proposed a climate and energy bill that's a disaster for our planet and climate.

The “American Power Act” will not solve the problems of global warming, and it entrenches our addiction to fossil fuels by offering incentives for increased oil and gas drilling just days after what appears to be the worst offshore oil disaster in American history.

This proposal echoes greenhouse pollution-reduction targets that scientists recently called “paltry” and inadequate to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Scientists have determined that reducing carbon pollution to 350 parts per million is necessary to preserve life as we know it. 350 ppm must be the bottom line for all climate and energy policies. The senators' weak targets will not reduce carbon pollution to below 350 ppm from its current level of 391 ppm.

The Bill:

• provides only a fraction of the greenhouse gas pollution reductions scientists have said are necessary to avoid catastrophic climate disruption;

• bans successful Clean Air Act programs from reducing greenhouse pollution;

• bans existing state and local efforts to tackle climate change;

• catalyzes increased oil and gas drilling — including offshore drilling;

• subsidizes dangerous and costly nuclear energy; and

• incentivizes the destruction of forests, our best defense, for biomass energy production.

According to Joseph Lieberman has reported receiving Cash Payments that include:

$24,500 from the Petroleum refining & marketing industry

$5,000 from Major (multinational) Oil and Gas Producers

John Kerry has reported receiving Cash Payments that include:

$22,750 from the Petroleum refining & marketing industry

$76,586 from Major (multinational) Oil and Gas Producers”


Be sure to go to and look up the members of President Obama’s “independent commission” to see the amount of the cash they received from the oil and gas industry. $3.5 million dollars has been given to candidates by BP over the last 20 years – including during the Clinton administration. This is one executive order should result in some fine theatre.

And finally, let’s not forget, according to the Center for Responsive Politics Barac O’bama, the President himself, took the single largest political donation from BP totaling $77,051 dollars.

Folks, the oil and gas industry, BP included, wouldn’t have given them the money if they didn’t think it would have helped.

Beyond which, President O’bama and Salazar were completely capable of stopping the spill from happening. They knew deregulation had run rampant under the Bush administration. They are politicians and O’bama has a law degree. They made a career for themselves finding pitfalls in the language and procedures set out in patterns of legal documents. Do you honestly mean to tell me that it either didn’t dawn on them and/or they were not aware of the hazard that the pencil and pen manner in which the firms being regulated were filling out their own inspection reports? Not only is this pen and pencil “smoking gun” that allegedly points the blame at Bush a wildly obvious hazard even to the most unskilled policy and procedures analyst off the street, but the inspection report itself is at the very heart of the agency’s existence. Sorry. O’bama has been in office over a year there was plenty of time to circulate a memo that should have fixed an obvious hazard that these men are trained to detect. Nope, that dog don’t hunt.

And let’s not forget that the Coast Guard, a government agency subordinate to the administration, initially claimed that there was no oil spilled as a result of the explosion. But they quickly revised their statement. Then came the lies about the amount actually being spilled. Who was doing the lying, BP or the Coast Guard? Do you honestly expect me to believe that the Government was unable to determine its own estimate given all the up-roar over the amount spilled?

Do yourself a favor. Pull up the video footage of the pipe on the ocean floor. Since it is a 21 inch pipe you can get a stop watch and using the formula for a Volume of a Cylinder = Pi x Radius(squared) x Length easily show that BP/Coast Guard/White House are lying about the amount being spilled. I'm with the Berkeley Grad Student who in detail showed that the true amount could be as much as 70,000 to 100,000 barrels per day.

Then we have Carol Browner’s recent statements. Browner is an American lawyer, environmentalist, and businesswoman, who is Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy in the Obama Administration. Browner previously served as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton Administration. Her comments about convening a task force to study recommendations, etc. concerning the Gulf Oil spill were the product of an administration whose view of the spill was aloof, detached, out-of-touch, and insular. At the time, BP still hadn’t even stopped the leak and your busy scheduling upcoming meetings. “Heck of a job Brownie.”

I’m not surprised BP has dumped 700 gallons of Corexit 9500 (developed by Exxon) a chemical dispersant manufactured by Nowco (a firm’s whose ownership was financed with help from Goldman Sachs). This particular brand, one of thousands available, is outlawed in the North Sea because of its toxicity to marine life. Neither am I surprised that BP has refused to stop dumping this brand of dispersant after the EPA ordered them to stop. Many thanks to Randi Rhodes for pointing out that Rodney Chase of Nowco was a former director at BP for 23 years.

I want O’bama to succeed because the burden of his failures have a tendency to land right on my doorstep. But, I am with the taxpayers on the ground in Louisiana - the Federal Government is criminally responsible in the spill. There must be consequences. The commons they are destroying belong to the Taxpayers.

Campaign Finance Reform is desperately needed in this Country.

Thanks for the forum Mr. Hartmann

telliottmbamsc's picture
May. 20, 2010 4:06 am


Super interesting post.

Can someone tell me how cap&trade would apply to BP's insane pollution in the Gulf of Mexico and now migrating?

How can a cap&trade system ever work with tragedies like the BP catastrophe?

What is the load of greenhouse gases being generated by BP's reckless operation and fraud (hiding the oil with additionally toxic dispersant which compounds the pollution)?

nora's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The Dispersant is the Smoking Gun

Clean-up with socialism

A little oil clean-up socialism is just what I’d like to see as opposed to more huge industry-bailout-socialism. In the long run I think we need a full time public sector oil disaster response capability just like we have a public fire department . Letting the criminals be the police and emergency crew is crazy.

But that isn’t enough.

We need to indict and arrest several busloads of industry people (incompetence defense not allowed) and regulatory people (incompetence defense considered case by case) on felony charges including manslaughter, negligent homicide, fraud, perjury, obstruction of justice, and willful destruction of private and public property; and hold them on about $200 billion in total bail. The bail will only be refunded once a few million people on the Gulf Coast sign releases, and even then it would only be refunded net of all public costs incurred. In the end, at least a few of those out on bail will be found guilty and imprisoned for appropriate terms.

This is the only way the taxpayer doesn’t wind up footing most of the bill (massive corporate welfare/socialism) and it doesn’t happen again soon at a beach or estuary near you.

The reason I think we have immediate probable cause to arrest lots of people for willful destruction of public and private property as well as various other economic damages without waiting for further investigations is the dispersant. There is only one benefit of the dispersant: the intentional cover-up of the visual magnitude of the spill. The highly toxic and cleanup-hindering dispersant actually makes the environmental impact an order of magnitude WORSE while it conceals some of the oil from the news cameras.

Obama, Holder, Napoletano, Salizar et al have to know this by now. If they don’t make arrests now, they should be considered accomplices.

The dispersant is the smoking gun.

Poor Richard's Almanack 2010

Poor Richard's picture
Poor Richard
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
I get offended when people try to blame the Gulf Oil spill on the previous administration. This shows a lack of respect to the American people.

Offended? That's silly. The reason that the disaster happened is because of the American people. They voted pols in who were adherents to free market/objectivist ideology and so wouldn't have the audacity to mandate energy efficiency standards for products sold in the U.S. or enforce environmental laws. It started with choosing Reagan over Carter because the American people are more concerned with their material well being than acting responsible; What's more important, the "freedom" to choose a gas guzzler or negating that "freedom" through mandating energy efficiency standards for all products to minimize our environmental impact and reduce our use of natural resources? We chose the free market canard.

Sorry, but the American people don't deserve much respect and they are ultimately to blame.

jeffbiss's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

bp's goals were spelled out in their programs with catchy names and mottos 'Beyond the Best' , Operation Excellence, blah blah, like the secret, think it, say it out loud, there's no place like home...sorry that was another fantasy.

In 2003, BP spent $3 billion drilling and completing some 1000 wells onshore and offshore around the world – about one third of BP’s exploration and production sector’s total capital expenditure. Chris Rhodes, technology vice president for drilling and completions, and 900 others in his discipline, are keenly aware of the impact they have on BP’s bottom line. In 2000, Rhodes convened discipline leaders from BP’s global operations and laid out a challenging target – to gain $1 billion in efficiencies through a combination of capital savings and productivity improvements, and do this while improving safety performance.

‘We’ve moved a long way towards delivering that prize,’ says Rhodes, ‘and I believe there’s another big prize yet to come.’

BP’s mechanism for attaining the $1 billion goal is ‘Beyond the Best’, the drilling and completions community’s expression of ‘Operations Excellence’, the BP-wide efficiency initiative launched four years ago by group chief executive Lord Browne.

‘Operations Excellence came from a recognition that BP had been a very active and successful asset trader for many years, but that the opportunities for doing that were going to be fewer in the future,’ says Rhodes. ‘There weren’t going to be the same opportunities to carry out major mergers and acquisitions such as we did with Amoco and ARCO, so to differentiate ourselves and become a great company – a Great Operator – we had to become great at working the assets we have.’

A billion in efficiency, get the numbers, get the numbers, that's all that counted.

douglaslee's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Gays in the military = weapon of mass destraction?

telliottmbamsc's picture
May. 20, 2010 4:06 am

Also, did the President’s National Commission on Energy Policy have anything to do with all the difficulty in taking action(s) to keep the Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes? For instance, closing the waterways would have imposed hardship on Chicago-land oil refineries that would have otherwise had to rely on semi-tractor trailers for transportation.

Are they certain the Asian Carp didn’t make it into the Great Lakes?

telliottmbamsc's picture
May. 20, 2010 4:06 am

This 'DO SOMETHING' Screech is saddening to me. This DISASTER is the fault of DICK CHENEY and his 2002 National Energy Policy. It's Terrorism Cheney Style with his fingerprints all over it.

Screaming DO SOMETHING will bring nothing. The sad truth is that we are 6-8 YEARS LATE at doing something.

Humankind has been fouling its environment since time began - forcing people 'up river'.

Sorry for this overdose of reality, but it's CHENEY and it's IRREVERSIBLE.

Now, all that said, you have to ask yourself WHO VOTED HIM IN? That would be ... the US. All we have left to do is to own it. Howzat working out for ya?

Jun. 1, 2010 7:26 pm

The mark-up in the price of gas at the pump attributable to hostile governments has been negligible compared to the 20% to 35% range of mark-up caused by unregulated trading of derivatives (e.g. futures where the underlying is oil and gas contract). You can thank Bill Clinton for that.

To say that the Country NEEDS “energy independence” is, amongst other things, to announce a move to a system where an increase in profit experienced by domestic oil and gas producers (avoiding the business risk associated with hostile foreign lands) could go to offset a dampened profit margin on trading. So, it is not inconceivable that the loss in revenue, if any, experienced by Wall Street bank’s trading activities will be offset by an increase in the profitability of their activities and holdings in their oil and gas divisions. After all, it’s cheaper to drill at home and the banks still would win if new financial regulation dampened their trades that in the past have pushed up the price per gallon at the pump as high as, say, $0.35. However, regardless of what happens with new financial regulation you end up “greasing” two of the largest industries in the country capable of millions of dollars in campaign donations.

A good book for this type of discussion is “The tyranny of Oil” by Author Antonia Juhasz.

telliottmbamsc's picture
May. 20, 2010 4:06 am

In early March, the Senate passed its version of the RESTORE Act by an overwhelming bipartisan margin. The RESTORE Act directs 80 percent of the penalties that will have to be paid by BP and others responsible for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster to Gulf Coast restoration, potentially directing as much as $15 - $20 billion to Gulf restoration. The RESTORE Act would be the single largest investment ever made Congress in environmental restoration. The Senate bill also included another provision that provides $1.5 billion in funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which protects precious lands across America. Audubon President David Yarnold called the strong bipartisan vote in favor of these two measures "a moment for hope and healing...the most important conservation victory in a decade."

However, final passage of these measures was delayed when the House and Senate failed to agree on a final version of the transportation bill, the larger bill that contains these vital conservation measures. Both the House and the Senate have voted strongly in favor of RESTORE Act principles, however. When Congress returns from the spring recess, it will take up the transportation bill again.

telliottmbamsc's picture
May. 20, 2010 4:06 am

There's a 1 in 20 Chance of the Apocalypse. Shouldn't We Act Now?

A new study published in Science argues that we as a civilization need to move "rapidly" -- as in almost immediately -- towards a carbon emissions free future if we are to have any chance of holding off runaway global warming:

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