Archive for the ‘Big Oil’ category

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Phony Tony Get a Slap on the Wrist

June 22nd, 2010

What does is mean to “hold BP accountable”? We have heard this phrase over an over during the past month, as the Federal government responds to the Gulf crisis. We heard figures like $20 billion “slush fund for claims.” We even heard BP’s CEO, Tony Hayward, get grilled before a congressional committee hearing (with the exception of Republican Representative Joe Barton’s apology to Mr. Hayward about the “tragedy” that BP had experienced during this “unprecedented” government “shakedown” of a private corporate). But is this accountability? As I listened to the hearing on C-SPAN, my sense was that this was a slap on the wrist. Mr. Hayward took his punishment (6 hours of lecturing), and had about five responses ready; and he found a way to use these responses in just about every question.

  • When repeatedly questioned about whether he should step down as CEO, each time, his response was: “I am focused on the response.”
  • When asked about any mistake on the part of BP in causing the explosion and subsequent leak, the answer was: Phony “The investigation is still ongoing, and if there is, I will take action.” Or, “I’m not prepared to draw the conclusions about this accident until the investigation is concluded.”
  • He frequently answered question about the decision making process on the rig with: “I wasn’t involved in any of the decision making.”
  • The most common response was: “I am afraid I can’t recall that [either].”
  • IN response to the status of hundreds of other BP wells in the Gulf, Hayward responded: “These are completed and secure.” (Whatever that means.)

Hayward got his lecture, and then he was off on his yacht for a little fun. Meanwhile, this is what is happening in the Gulf (watch this video).

Update on the relief wells:


I am thinking…Since the Republican insist that water boarding is not torture…that maybe…

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Ford Recommends BP

June 21st, 2010

I noticed something interesting while I was fueling up at the gas station this morning.

This is a picture of the gas cap from my 2006 Ford Explorer. Notice anything that seems out of place here?

BP’s web site explains that, “This is the first time in the United States a major auto manufacturer has recommended an energy company’s fuel…[Gary Brinkworth, Vice President of Marketing, said,] ‘We’re proud that Ford, a company well-known for its quality vehicles, values the BP brand as its first choice for fuels. This endorsement from Ford recognizes our dedication to producing fuels that help to improve cars’ performance, efficiency and emissions’…Ford Division President Darryl Hazel said, ‘The fuel cap recommendation allows customers to establish a tangible connection between both companies.'” (Emphasis mine)

Connection made.

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Crude Greed, Full Speed

June 11th, 2010

This is a great new song about the oil spill, by the great singer/songwriter, David Wilcox.

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Obama’s Katrina?

May 27th, 2010

Conservatives are calling the BP oil spill, “Obama’s Katrina.” Interesting. What exactly, my dear conservative friend, went wrong during Katrina, in your view? My recollection is that liberals thought the response was slow, completely inadequate, and irresponsible. Some even saw racism, opportunism (see Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine), and corruption. But conservatives generally defended the Bush administration’s response. They simply chalked it up to a natural disaster, and in some cases blamed the victims for expecting government help.

But now, with Obama in office, they are comparing the response to this man-made oil spill by BP, to the government’s response to Katrina. So I take it that they now concede that the response to Katrina (by Bush) was woefully inadequate, and that the Obama administration’s response is also poor. Is that the point they are making now?

Jon Stewart’s analysis of this comparison is too funny to miss.

» Read more: Obama’s Katrina?

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The Signs Before the Warning Signs

May 26th, 2010

Occasionally my masochistic impulse kicks in and I turn on the Sean Hannity Show while I am driving. I sat and listening to a discussion about how the BP oil spill is the fault of: (1) environmentalist, because they pressured oil companies to have to drill further out to sea; (2) Obama, because the liberals blamed Bush for Katrina, so this time it is Obama’s fault; and (3) government regulation, because it makes drilling far more difficult and expensive, leaving less time for managers to focus on maintenance and safety. Never mind the bizarre reasoning. I called in to ask Sean what he thought of the affect on business, in tourism and fishing…I didn’t get through. Maybe tomorrow.

To the conservative punditocracy: What happened to taking “personal responsibility”? What happened to hating bail-outs (unless they are on Bush’s watch) of large corporations? I for one, don’t think BP deserves a welfare check (in the form of clean up services), especially then they have been flagrantly irresponsible. When they applied for their permit to drill, they said: If an oil spill occurs, it is unlikely to have an impact because we have proven methods to respond to such a situation. Now they are saying: There are significant uncertainties in the clean up methods, because we have never used them before. For the most part, they are taking the blame and asking the government for a safety net. Why don’t pull up their boot straps and get a job to pay for it? (Isn’t this what many on the right say to low-income families that need help?) » Read more: The Signs Before the Warning Signs