We all know that BP is at fault and it should pay everything to everybody. In this Part 2, we'll ask an important question: What role does an incompetent government play in this environmental crisis?
In my first post of I am a BP shareholder, I addressed Rosie O'Donnell (who believes that my BP property should immediately be seized and nationalized), Alex Jones (who believes that the oil spill was done intentionally and was a "false flag"), and Congress (who believes that Congress must decide when a private company can advertise and when it can pay dividents).
In a follow-up past last Thurday, "NY Times: 'Can the U.S. Punish BP's Shareholders?'", several people discussed BP's liability. The U.S. government (Obama) issued a drilling moratorium, then kindly asked BP to pay all costs for every worker out of work--even oil rig workers in the Pacific Ocean. It's insane that our Interior Secretary even asked this.
In this post, we'll consider the contrbutory negligence of an imcompetent "leader" named Barack Obama. I do not deny that BP has tremendous liability (and maybe Halliburton and Transocean, as well), and that I have liability as a shareholder. I simply want to discuss proper leadership, proper solutions, and common sense.
WHAT OBAMA WILL SAY TONIGHT
This is from Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Obama BP Speech
1:17 am June 15, 2010, by Jamie Dupree
President Obama will do something he hasn't done in his almost 17 months in office tonight, as he will address the nation from the Oval Office on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, after he returns from a two day visit to the Gulf.
What exactly will he say tonight? One expects that he will put some heat on British Petroleum to set up a pretty big compensation fund to deal with economic damages.
But what else?
Democrats are ready for him to use this oil accident to renew a call for action in the Congress on broad energy and climate change legislation?
Sure - he can do that - as he did in an email to supporters on Monday.
Oh yes, I'm on his mailing list:
Barry, will you stand with me?
Barack Obama to you - yesterday
From: Barack Obama
The BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast is the worst environmental disaster of its kind in our nation's history. I am returning to the region today to review our efforts and meet with families and business owners affected by the catastrophe.
Please stand with me today in backing clean energy. Adding your name will help Organizing for America create a powerful, public display of support for making this change happen.
So I'm asking for your help today to show that the American people are ready for a clean-energy future.
Please add your name to mine:
President Barack Obama
Last I checked, my car doesn't run on wind and unicorns. It runs on oil.
I don't know how he can sign "President Barack Obama" in a partisan communication that's illegal for a president to officially make, but that's another story.
We already know what Barack Obama will say tonight. He can go back to playing golf. Obama gets his orders from the Soros-funded Center for American Progress, so let's read the Teleprompter ourselves, in advance:
Obama’s Oil Reform Opportunity
Setting America on the Road to Recovery from the BP Disaster
By Daniel J. Weiss | June 14, 2010
Take charge of the clean up
. Put the National Guard—along with other military branches—in charge of cleaning up BP oil and begin planning for a tropical storm response as soon as possible since storm season began June 1
. Appoint the remaining commissioners to the Bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
. Create a comprehensive BP oil disaster information clearinghouse at Gulfrecovery.gov so that all information is in one place rather than dispersed on each separate agency website
Demand more help from BP
. Demand that BP provide more transparency to their efforts and allow media access to all contaminated areas
. Stop BP, Transocean, and Halliburton from spending money on their own or American Petroleum Institute lobbyists, ads, or campaign contributions, and instead dedicate all funds to clean up and compensation
Provide health and economic aid to people in the gulf region
. Put the government, not BP, in charge of the immediate and long-term public health response
. Establish a $10 billion escrow account for damages, which is less than half the profits BP earned in the last 15 months
. Eliminate the oil spill liability cap of $75 million for damages from an oil spill
. Establish a Gulf Recovery Fund, a nongovernmental, nonprofit corporation designed to oversee long-term economic recovery in the affected states
Prevent future blowouts and disasters
. Immediately adopt the safety recommendations in Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s report to the president
. Adopt most of the protective safeguards for deepwater rigs required by other nations
. Create a federal research program to develop more reliable “fail safe” leak prevention hardware and oil containment technologies
Reduce oil use and pollution
. Implement fuel economy standards and other measures to produce a 7 million barrel per day reduction in oil use by 2030, with interim reduction targets
. Establish at least a 45 mile-per-gallon fuel economy standard for cars and light trucks in 2020 and establish the first fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks
. Power trucks and buses with natural gas by enacting the NAT GAS Act
. Power cars with electricity by enacting the Electric Vehicle Deployment Act
. Eliminate taxpayer subsides that benefit big oil companies
. Invoke the Trade Expansion Act to levy a small fee on imported oil and use that revenue for public transit, high-speed rail, and other clean infrastructure
. Adopt a shrinking limit on global warming pollution from oil-based transportation fuels, coal-fired power plants, and other very large sources
Surely, Obama cares! Even more than he cares about his own golf game and watching LeBron James! Surely, Obama thinks for himself! He's more than a Teleprompter reader! George Soros doesn't pull his strings! From the Wall Street Journal (there are a whopping 279 comments):
June 14, 2010, 10:26 AM ET
WH Takes Cues from Liberal Think Tank on Spill
By Jonathan Weisman
If you want to see where President Barack Obama’s response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster is heading, try following the urgings of the Center for American Progress.
The liberal think tank with close White House ties appears to have more influence on spill policy than the president’s in-house advisers. On May 4, for instance, the CAP’s energy and environment expert, Daniel Weiss, called on the president to name an independent commission to look at the causes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. On May 22, he did just that.
On May 21, CAP president, John Podesta, privately implored White House officials to name someone to be the public point person for the spill response. A week later, the White House announced that Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen would hold daily briefings on the spill, wherever he would be on any given day
What’s next, Mr. Podesta?
I didn't know we elected John Podesta!
From the Washington Examiner, we can see that the fun gets thicker:
The BP lobbyist whose brother has Obama’s ear
By: Timothy P. Carney
06/14/10 12:04 PM EDT
John Podesta of the Center for American Progress is nearly scripting the White House’s BP response, according to Jonathan Weisman at the Wall Street Journal in a blog post picked up by Drudge. But Weisman leaves out a key detail:
Podesta’s brother is a BP lobbyist.
Tony and John Podesta cofounded the Podesta Group, a K Street lobbying firm. Now BP is a client, and Tony is one of the lobbyists on the account, according to the firm’s latest lobbying filings.
Here's a popular demand going around today, from CQ Politics:
CQ POLITICS NEWS
June 14, 2010 – 1:16 p.m.
BP Should Create $20 Billion Spill Fund, Senators Say
Senate Democrats are asking BP to put $20 billion into an independently administered account that would facilitate payment of cleanup and economic damage claims resulting from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
What's wrong with the Center for American Progress's suggestions? Let's look in detail:
A PRESIDENT-ORDERED "SPILL FUND" IS PROBABLY ILLEGAL--Does the president set aside enough money for, say, Social Security? Nah, it's a Ponzi scheme. Does it require, say, New York or California to have enough to pay for pension obligations. Nah, they're going bankrupt, but will be bailed out as we print more money. So why should be--a private company--be required by the president to be more fiscally responsible than the Congress and the states? A "spill fund" is usually arranged in a court of law, with BP allowed to defend itself. Not so if the president orders it. And if the "spill fund" is $20 billion, rest assured that that money will be carved up quickly as an appetizer.
THE "REDUCE OIL USE AND POLLUTION" SECTION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BP--All cars must get 45 miles per gallon? What does that have to do with the oil spill? Or are we "not letting a crisis go to waste"? "Adopt a shrinking limit on global warming pollution." Cap & tax legislation will end the oil spill?
GULFRECOVERY.GOV--"Create a comprehensive BP oil disaster information clearinghouse at Gulfrecovery.gov." Because Recovery.gov--with money going to phantom districts--works so well! You want the government to run a website? The government can't run anything! "All information is in one place." What information? Plaintiff information? BP information? While legal proceedings are still pending?
NO FREE SPEECH FOR YOU!--"Stop BP, Transocean, and Halliburton from spending money on their own or American Petroleum Institute lobbyists, ads, or campaign contributions, and instead dedicate all funds to clean up and compensation." Didn't the Supreme Court say that companies can do these things? BP loses its free speech rights? It can't inform the public, even to respond to smears?
EX POST FACTO LAWS?--"Eliminate the oil spill liability cap of $75 million for damages from an oil spill." That's the law in place. That's what BP will pay the government as a penalty. How big do you want the penalties? If you bankrupt BP on government fines, maybe it can't afford to pay civil damages.
GULF RECOVERY FUND--ANOTHER BOONDOGGLE?--"Establish a Gulf Recovery Fund, a nongovernmental, nonprofit corporation designed to oversee long-term economic recovery in the affected states." Who sits on the board? Who pays the money? Again, why not have a court of law do this, where BP can defend itself?
Let's leave a Weasel Zippers headline with the last word:
Obama Isn’t Having Tuesday’s Oval Address To Calm Our Fears & Inform Americans Of The Progress Being Made In The Gulf; He’s Using It To Push Crap & Tax
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: THE CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE OF A MISERABLE LEADER
There's little a doubt that Obama has made the oil spill crisis worse. Am I, as a BP shareholder, fully responsible for his failures to act?
Let's look at those failures:
A. THE JONES ACT & INTERNATIONAL HELP REFUSED
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-261) is a United States Federal statute that regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports.
Section 27, also known as the Jones Act, deals with cabotage (i.e., coastal shipping) and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. The purpose of the law is to support the U.S. merchant marine industry, but agricultural interests generally oppose it because, they contend, it raises the cost of shipping their goods, making them less competitive with foreign sources.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff temporarily waived the U.S. Shipping Act for foreign vessels carrying oil and natural gas from September 1 to September 19, 2005.
President Obama said yesterday that the oil spill is another 9-11, and yet he won't waive the Jones Act in such a crisis?
From Opposing Views:
Obama Refuses to Waive Law to Allow Foreign Help With Oil Spil
Article by CEI
(11 Hours Ago) in Society / Environment
By Hans Bader
Crucial offers to help clean up BP’s oil spill “have come from Belgian, Dutch, and Norwegian firms that . . . possess some of the world’s most advanced oil skimming ships.” But the Obama administration wouldn’t accept the help, because doing so would require it to do something past presidents have routinely done: waive rules imposed by the Jones Act, a law backed by unions.
“The BP clean-up effort in the Gulf of Mexico is hampered by the Jones Act. This is a piece of 1920s protectionist legislation, that requires all vessels working in U.S. waters to be American-built, and American-crewed. So . . . the U.S. Coast Guard . . . can’t accept, and therefore don’t ask for, the assistance of high-tech European vessels specifically designed for the task in hand.”
The law itself permits the president to waive these requirements, and such waivers were “granted, promptly, by the Bush administration,” in the aftermath of hurricanes and other emergencies. But Obama has refused to do so, notes David Warren in the Ottawa Citizen.
Here's another take:
Why is Obama refusing to waive the Jones Act? He's aiding in the destruction of the Gulf
June 12, 1:54 PM
Boston Conservative Independent Examiner
Obama has refused to waive the Jones Act. His Administration keeps putting the blame on the Coast Guard who puts the blame on others for not requesting the Jones Act be waived. Yet a simple Executive Order signed by Obama could waive the Jones Act in about 3 minutes, less time than it takes Obama to set up a tee on the golf course.
The Jones Act is heavily backed by labor unions. could that be Obama’s reasoning? Maybe Obama doesn’t want to make his Union buddies upset? There’s no other reason that one could possibly think of as to why Obama has not waived the Jones Act. There is absolutely no excuse for Obama, our ‘global leader’, not bring in help from around the world.
Let the Gulf die! I've gotta help my union buddies! Don't worry--BP will pay for all of it!
In case you missed it, see this Red State TobyToons: "Why is the U.S. rejecting international help with the oil spill?"
There's the rejected Dutch help, from FireAndreaMitchell.com:
Day 51 of oil spill: U.S. and BP rejected Dutch help to plug oil spill three days after it started
Three days after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, the Dutch government offered to help. It was willing to provide ships outfitted with oil-skimming booms, and it proposed a plan for building sand barriers to protect sensitive marshlands. According to the Houston Chronicle though, Obama and BP basically said “thanks, but no thanks.” Hows things working out 51 days later?
Obama even rejected British help--oh, the BP pensioners are gonna love Mr. Hope & Change. From The Times of London:
June 14, 2010
US turned down Britain’s offer to help clean up BP oil rig spill
Robin Pagnamenta, Energy Editor
A high-level British offer of help to clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was rebuffed by America shortly after the accident, fuelling fresh fears of political tension between the two countries over the disaster.
A few days after the BP-leased rig sank on April 22, the Cabinet Office made a direct offer to the US State Department to airlift half of Britain’s 1,200-tonne stockpile of chemical dispersants, The Times has learnt.
At the time there was an urgent demand for fresh supplies. The offer to provide the chemicals, at the cost price of £3 million, was made through diplomatic channels and via the Civil Contingency Secretariat, the Government’s emergency planning unit.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which was also involved in drafting the plan, said that the US had chosen not to accept the offer. Officials said the US claimed that the chemicals held in Britain did not have the correct paperwork but the spokeswoman said: “We are not aware of any problems with licensing. I cannot say why they have not accepted the offer. That is a question for the US State Department.”
B. BOOM SITTING IN WAREHOUSES
Here's ABC's Jake Tapper's take on that boom story:
Why Isn’t That Maine Boom Being Deployed to the Gulf?
June 13, 2010 8:17 PM
As the oil spill crisis has worsened, members of the public and media have seized upon various ways the government could be doing more to either plug the hole or alleviate the environmental damage.
One such story has described boom manufactured by an Auburn, Maine, packaging company called Packgen that’s been sitting in storage waiting to be delivered to the Gulf. Four weeks ago, in four days, Packgen manufactured 80,000 feet of boom, though neither the government nor BP had placed any orders for boom with his company.
John Lapoint III, the president of Packgen, told me Friday that a BP inspector visited his plant two weeks before, and was with him that day, and he didn’t understand why the holdup, given the need for boom.
“We have the capacity to manufacture 42,000 feet of boom per day,” Lapoint told me. “I figured they would need thousands of miles of boom given the magnitude of what’s going on in the Gulf.” He said he has enough raw materials to make half a million feet of boom.
From Pajamas Media:
BREAKING: Coast Guard Head Was Informed of Maine Oil Boom on 5/21. Yesterday, He Claimed He Didn’t KnowA letter signed by both Maine senators — with the four Gulf State governors copied — informed Admiral Allen of Packgen's boom weeks ago. Allen told ABC yesterday that he hadn't heard this information. (Read article to see the letter, along with a photo of miles of Packgen boom sitting in storage.)
June 12, 2010- by Gregory Sullivan
C. IS BP USING COREXIT, A DEADLY NEUROTOXIN?
From Before It's News:
BP Crop Dusting U.S. Population Under the Cover of Night
Contributed by Anonymous (Reporter)
Monday, June 14, 2010 1:43
Corexit is the deadly neurotoxin that is being sprayed on the Gulf oil spill. Now according to Gulf witnesses the deadly chemical Corexit is now being sprayed very close to if not on populations under the cover of night. “It is literally falling in peoples back yards” Said James Fox and co-reporter on Veritas Radio.“Priority # 1 should be to mobilize a movement to stop the use of dispersants” Fox said. In a nut shell they are crop dusting the U.S. population with a deadly pesticide.
This is criminal. Not to mention BP has hired Wackenhut private security to police the area. Apparently Wackenhut security is above the law now. They have been keeping reporters away from the workers on the beaches and threatening them with arrest. James Fox a documentary film maker, has been in Grand Isle documenting this event unfold. Fox also rented a plane and has done an overflight of the area documenting the massive oil plumes.
There are many natural solutions to this disaster, As shown on HANNITY and HUCKABEE, even hay picks up oil. There are organisms that eat oil. BP should not used neurotoxins.
D. THE MEDIA BLACKOUT.
Also from Before It's News:
Oil Leak + Evidence = Unfathomable Disaster! Government Not Talking to Avoid MASS PANIC!
Contributed by ontheway (Editor)
Monday, June 14, 2010 6:48
Here is what we know and it is adding up quickly.
There has been virtually, no clean up effort on the part of BP, Federal Government, Coast Guard, or volunteers.
There has been a media blackout. Very little footage has been released of the actual water, the beaches and any cleanup effort. Camera's have been confiscated, people threatened with arrest for taking pictures and some even jailed.
A no fly zone has been enforced above 3,000 ft.
The locals seem to know very little.
The Guard is there, but what are they doing.
People are getting ill, and the CDC is there.
The most transparent administration eva. Oh, those campaign promises! "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
We need a real leader here, and it's not our elected president.