Oil spill bound BP, feds together

Oil spill bound BP, feds together

There are 13 comments on the Reno Gazette-Journal story from Aug 21, 2010, titled Oil spill bound BP, feds together. In it, Reno Gazette-Journal reports that:

NEW ORLEANS - For months, the U.S. government talked with a boot-on-the-neck toughness about BP, with the president wondering aloud about whose butt to kick.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Reno Gazette-Journal.

“Truth to Power!”

Since: Apr 07

Ocala, FL

#1 Aug 22, 2010
BP Bought Obama early and he's given them special exemptions, reduced oil rig inspections, and eagerly endorsed their use of banned dispersant.

Now we have 20 mile long sunken Oil Plumes discovered by scientists and universities watching our government try to hide it.

If only Obama had listened to the Federal Judge in April 2009 but NO. Obama said he wanted the Oil Drilling Revenue instead.

Obama = Oily POS.

“Truth to Power!”

Since: Apr 07

United States

#2 Aug 22, 2010
Obama takes the Oil Money over Court Ruling

Obama admin successfully petitioned Court to Overturn an April 2009 Ruling that determined Gov was "Unprepared" for Major Spill

JULY 5, 2010

Obama Decried, Then Used, Some Bush Drilling Policies

Less than four months after President Barack Obama took office, his new administration received a forceful warning about the dangers of offshore oil drilling.

The alarm was rung by a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., which found that the government was unprepared for a major spill at sea, relying on an "irrational" environmental analysis of the risks of offshore drilling.

The April 2009 ruling stunned both the administration and the oil industry, and threatened to delay or cancel dozens of offshore projects in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

Despite its pro-environment pledges, the Obama administration urged the court to revisit the decision. Politically, it needed to push ahead with conventional oil production while it expanded support for renewable energy.

Another reason: money. In its arguments to the court, the government said that the loss of royalties on the oil, estimated at almost $10 billion, "may have significant financial consequences for the federal government."

The U.S. Court of Appeals reversed its decision and allowed drilling in the Gulf to proceed—including on BP PLC's now-infamous Macondo well, 50 miles off the Louisiana coast.

The Obama administration's actions in the court case exemplify the dilemma the White House faced in developing its energy policy. In his presidential campaign, President Obama criticized the Bush administration for being too soft on the oil industry and vowed to support greener energy forms.

But, once in office, President Obama ended up backing offshore drilling, bowing to political and fiscal realties, even as his administration's own scientists and Democratic lawmakers warned about its risks.

After the Macondo well blew out, sinking the Deepwater Horizon rig and causing a catastrophic spill, Mr. Obama said his administration should have been more vigilant in handling the oil industry. "More needed to be done, and more needs to be done" to tighten oversight, he told reporters recently.

Still, the administration defends its intervention in the court case, and says the ruling made it look more cautiously at whether to open new areas to offshore drilling.


More PROOF Obama knew of the Problem but pushed forward because of the MONEY!!!!!!

Impeach Obama!

“Truth to Power!”

Since: Apr 07

United States

#3 Aug 22, 2010
Obama admin Approves Toxic Chemical linked with human health problems

In Gulf Spill, BP Using Dispersants Banned in U.K.

by Marian Wang, ProPublica
May 18, 2010

The two types of dispersants BP is spraying in the Gulf of Mexico are banned for use on oil spills in the U.K. As EPA-approved products , BP has been using them in greater quantities than dispersants have ever been used in the history of U.S. oil spills.
BP is using two products from a line of dispersants called Corexit, which EPA data appear to show is more toxic and less effective on South Louisiana crude than other available dispersants, according to Greenwire.

We learned about the U.K. ban from a mention on The New York Times’ website.(The reference was cut from later versions of the article, so we can’t link to the Times, but we found the piece elsewhere.) The Times flagged a letter that Rep. Edward Markey, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, sent to the EPA on Monday. The letter pointed out that both the Corexit products currently being used in the Gulf were removed from a list of approved treatments for oil spills in the U.K. more than a decade ago)
As we’ve reported, Corexit was also used after the Exxon Valdez disaster and was later linked with human health problems including respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders.

One of the two Corexit products also contains a compound that, in high doses, is associated with headaches, vomiting and reproductive problems.


“Truth to Power!”

Since: Apr 07

United States

#4 Aug 22, 2010
Obama admim lax on rig Inspections & Permits

AP/Huffington Post

LOS ANGELES — The federal agency responsible for ensuring that an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was operating safely before it exploded last month fell well short of its own policy that inspections be done at least once per month, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Among the dubious oversight practices, the MMS has reportedly allowed hundreds of drilling plans to move forward without required permits since Obama took office. On Friday, the New York Times revealed that one of those projects lacking a permit was the Deepwater Horizon rig:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is partly responsible for protecting endangered species and marine mammals. It has said on repeated occasions that drilling in the gulf affects these animals, but the minerals agency since January 2009 has approved at least three huge lease sales, 103 seismic blasting projects and 346 drilling plans. Agency records also show that permission for those projects and plans was granted without getting the permits required under federal law.

"M.M.S. has given up any pretense of regulating the offshore oil industry," said Kierán Suckling, director of the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental advocacy group in Tucson, which filed notice of intent to sue the agency over its noncompliance with federal law concerning endangered species. "The agency seems to think its mission is to help the oil industry evade environmental laws."


“Truth to Power!”

Since: Apr 07

United States

#5 Aug 22, 2010
Obamacrats caught in web of Corporate Bad guy Distortions and Lies

As Democrats fight to advance climate change policies, they are resorting to the misleading tactics they used in their health care and finance efforts: posing as the scourges of the special interests and tarring “reform” opponents as the stooges of big business.

Expect BP to be public enemy No. 1 in the climate debate.

There’s a problem: BP was a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a lobby dedicated to passing a cap-and-trade bill. As the nation’s largest producer of natural gas, BP saw many ways to profit from climate legislation, notably by persuading Congress to provide subsidies to coal-fired power plants that switched to gas.

In February, BP quit USCAP without giving much of a reason beyond saying the company could lobby more effectively on its own than in a coalition that is increasingly dominated by power companies. Theymade out particularly well in the House’s climate bill, while natural gas producers suffered.

But two months later, BP signed off on Kerry’s Senate climate bill, which was hardly a capitalist concoction. One provision BP explicitly backed, according to Congressional Quarterly and other media reports: a higher gas tax. The money would be earmarked for building more highways, thus inducing more driving and more gasoline consumption.


“Truth to Power!”

Since: Apr 07

United States

#6 Aug 22, 2010
~ BOMBSHELL!~ Obama Admin Justified Less Rig Inspections in MMS Budget!

May 18, 2010

After Obama’s much-ballyhooed triangulation around offshore drilling as a key component of his energy policy, the Deep Water Horizon had a Blowout killing 11 workers in the explosion that destroyed the rig.

A little know fact is that Obama's MMS established some new principles for safety inspection and appeared to be concerned more with risk assessment than covering every facility according to their "Budgetary Justification" report".

The most recent budget request from the Department of Interior states outright that “MMS focuses compliance efforts on those operators whose performance does not meet certain targets.”


What this means is that they are focused on the facilities with the greatest risk. And to that end, MMS explained in its budget request that while it completed around 27,000 inspections in FY2009 (the last year of the Bush administration), it anticipated completing fewer inspections in both ‘10 and ‘11 – 22,000 and 23,000 respectively.


And for that reason, it’s possible that TransOcean’s Deepwater Horizon may not have been on its radar screen.

For instance, according to TransOcean’s own internal magazine, Deepwater Horizon in the spring of 2009 reached its sixth year without a major safety problem or a ‘lost time incident.’ Which may mean that the TransOcean rig was not subject to the kind of scrutiny that other more troubled platforms received from MMS inspectors. It certainly didn’t sound like it was considered a ‘high-risk’ rig by anyone in the industry.

Meanwhile, paired with MMS’s new slimmed down approach to inspections was a brand new set of responsibilities for the agency – renewable energy development under the Obama administration’s commitment of to developing green energy. While modest resources were devoted to renewable energy before Obama came in, the President’s new people at MMS got $21 million for programs (with a small bump this year) that would “enable MMS to further identify and address any major challenges to issuing commercial leases for generation of renewable energy by increasing its visibility and accessibility to major stakeholders.” Basically, an agency focused on fossil fuel resources – you know,“minerals”– is now spending tens of millions of dollars to get into things like tidal or wind energy – sort of like the turbines approved to be built off Cape Cod earlier in the week.

This is a classic example of bureaucratic ‘mission creep’ where a new responsbility (and a bigger budget) is sought out by a government entity, while core responsibilities wither on the vine because they aren’t the hot new thing. An agency which may not have been doing a stupendous job in its main areas of concern decides to focus its attention on something cool and new, like green energy.

While I’m suggesting that the offshore drilling safety wasn’t a principal concern of anyone in the administration, it will be easy for others to blame ‘Big Oil’ for the disaster.

Marcus Baram at the Huffington Post did some deep digging into federal records and found that companies like BP, which leased the Deepwater Horizon from TransOcean, fought some proposed safety rules last year. But that doesn’t come as much of a surprise – opposing regulations is what American corporations do.

And it’s also not hard to imagine a good reason companies like BP would have for opposing new regulations: a lack of regulators to enforce them. But hey, if BP is looking for a tidal energy lease…






“Truth to Power!”

Since: Apr 07

United States

#7 Aug 22, 2010
New oil numbers may mean more environmental damage: Obama preventing Media coverage

Associated Press Writers Seth Borenstein And Harry R. Weber,
June 11, 2010

HOUSTON – New numbers showing the amount of oil gushing from a well in the Gulf of Mexico may be double as much as previously thought means the crude is likely to travel farther away, threatening more birds, fish and other wildlife that call the fragile waters their home, scientists said Friday.

The new figures could mean 42 million gallons to more than 100 million gallons of oil have already fouled the Gulf's delicate ecosystem and are affecting people who live, work and play along the coast from Louisiana to Florida — and perhaps beyond.

More oil means the giant gooey cloud can spread out over a greater distance, having far worse consequences for the environment, said Paul Montagna, a marine biologist at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.

"Doubling the amount of oil does not have a linear effect, it doesn't double the consequences, it may instead have quadruple the consequences," Montagna, who studies the Gulf of Mexico deep sea reefs and other underwater ecosystems, said.

Last week, Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, tried to bring a small group of journalists with him on a trip he was taking through the gulf on a Coast Guard vessel. Mr. Nelson’s office said the Coast Guard agreed to accommodate the reporters and camera operators. But at about 10 p.m. on the evening before the trip, someone from the Department of Homeland Security’s legislative affairs office called the senator’s office to tell them that no journalists would be allowed.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_gulf_oil_spill;... --


“Truth to Power!”

Since: Apr 07

United States

#8 Aug 22, 2010
Obama admns's Salazar: Gov't failed to assure drilling safety

May 18, 11:06 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP)-- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar concedes the government failed to hold the oil industry accountable and ensure safety in offshore oil drilling.

He promises to give "more tools, more resources, more independence and greater authority" to the Minerals Management Service, which regulates drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Salazar on Tuesday was making his first appearance before Congress since the April 20 oil spill. He says in prepared testimony that oil companies have opposed efforts to change "the culture of doing business" at the agency.


“Truth to Power!”

Since: Apr 07

United States

#9 Aug 22, 2010
Obama's MMS was aware BP Was Concerned About Well Control Six Weeks Before Incident

Published May 31, 2010

E-mails released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee show BP told regulators they were having trouble maintaining control of the well six weeks before it exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, Bloomberg reported.

"We are in the midst of a well control situation on MC 252 #001 and have stuck pipe," BP executive Scherie Douglas wrote in an e-mail to Frank Patton, the U.S. Minerals Management Service's drilling engineer for the New Orleans district on March 10. "We are bringing out equipment to begin operations to sever the drillpipe, plugback the well and bypass."

The e-mails, released by the committee Sunday, show BP was getting advice from J. Connor Consulting Inc., a Texas-based consulting firm that has dealt with some of the world's largest energy companies on how to deal with oil spills, as early as the second week of March.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, and Representative Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the panel’s oversight subcommittee, said the documents, "raise questions, but their connection to the blowout, if any, require additional investigation," according to Bloomberg.

The e-mails also show special permission was given to BP by federal regulators to cement the well at a shallower depth than normally required because the hole caved in on drilling equipment.


“Truth to Power!”

Since: Apr 07

United States

#10 Aug 22, 2010
Why Were BP Executives Hired For MMS? Fox, Meet Henhouse.

By Susie Madrak
Tuesday May 25, 2010

When Obama appointed Salazar to the Interior job, I hoped against hope that the corporate dirtbag wouldn't be as bad as I thought he'd be. But as always, the "business as usual" Beltway revolving door wins again. Heckuva job, Ken!

In the weeks since BP's Deepwater Horizon well started spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, there's been increasing attention to the "cozy" relationship between the Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the oil industry it's supposed to regulate. How cozy? Just last summer the Obama administration tapped a BP executive to serve as a deputy administrator for land and minerals management.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last June appointed Sylvia V. Baca to the post, which did not require Senate confirmation. The appointment follows eight years at BP. From her MMS bio:

Baca had been general manager for Social Investment Programs and Strategic Partnerships at BP America Inc. in Houston, and had held several senior management positions with the company since 2001, focusing on environmental initiatives, overseeing cooperative projects with private and public organizations, developing health, safety, and emergency response programs and working on climate change, biodiversity and sustainability objectives.

As Director of Global Health, Safety, Environment & Emergency Response for BP Shipping Ltd. in London, Baca led a worldwide team to develop innovative and proactive energy and the environment initiatives. Among her accomplishments, she oversaw health, safety and environmental outcomes for an $8 billion ship building program, resulting in the youngest, greenest and most technically advanced fleet in the world. The project has received numerous awards for its safety and environmental advancements.

Baca is also an excellent example of the revolving door between government and industry that MMS has been accused of facilitating. From 1995 to 2001, she was an assistant secretary for land and minerals management at the Department of Interior before leaving to work for the oil giant.


“Truth to Power!”

Since: Apr 07

United States

#11 Aug 22, 2010
Spill reveals Obama's lack of executive experience

By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
June 8, 2010

In mid-February 2008, fresh from winning a bunch of Super Tuesday primaries, Barack Obama granted an interview to "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Croft. "When you sit down and you look at [your] resume," Croft said to Obama, "there's no executive experience, and in fact, correct if I'm wrong, the only thing that you've actually run was the Harvard Law Review."

"Well, I've run my Senate office, and I've run this campaign," Obama said.

Seven months later, after receiving the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama talked with CNN's Anderson Cooper. "Some of your Republican critics have said you don't have the experience to handle a situation like this," Cooper said to Obama. "They in fact have said that Governor Palin has more executive experience...."

Obama answered, "We have got 2,500 in this campaign. I think their budget is maybe $12 million a year. You know, we have a budget of about three times that just for the month. So, I think that our ability to manage large systems and to execute, I think, has been made clear over the last couple of years."

Obama ignored Palin's experience as governor of Alaska, which was considerably bigger than the Obama campaign. But his point was clear: If you're worried about my lack of my executive experience, look at my campaign. Running a first-rate campaign, Obama and his supporters argued, showed that Obama could run the federal government, even at its most testing moments.

Fast forward to 2010. The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is gushing out of control. The Obama administration is at first slow to see the seriousness of the accident. Then, as the crisis becomes clear, the federal bureaucracy becomes entangled in itself trying to deal with the problem. "At least a dozen federal agencies have taken part in the spill response," the New York Times reports, "making decision-making slow, conflicted and confused, as they sought to apply numerous federal statutes."

For example, it took the Department of Homeland Security more than a week to classify the spill as an event calling for the highest level of federal action. And when state officials in Louisiana tried over and over to win federal permission to build sand barriers to protect fragile coastal wetlands from the oil, they got nowhere. "For three weeks, as the giant slick crept closer to shore," the Times reports, "officials from the White House, Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Environmental Protection Agency debated the best approach."


“President DOWNGRADE..Ha Ha Ha!”

Since: Sep 09

Ocala, FL

#15 Aug 22, 2010
The laughing liberal wrote:
Obama admns's Salazar: Gov't failed to assure drilling safety

May 18, 11:06 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP)-- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar concedes the government failed to hold the oil industry accountable and ensure safety in offshore oil drilling.

He promises to give "more tools, more resources, more independence and greater authority" to the Minerals Management Service, which regulates drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Salazar on Tuesday was making his first appearance before Congress since the April 20 oil spill. He says in prepared testimony that oil companies have opposed efforts to change "the culture of doing business" at the agency.
Botom line is that Obama failed.
Cranky Old Man

United States

#16 Aug 23, 2010
Obama is so candy assed he couldn't kick an old man's butt is his best dreams. When he was told about about the oil leak on the gulf coast, he must of thought they said its a good week for the golf course.

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