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Get all you can Can all you get...


By Golf11 - Posted on 02 June 2010

As most of you may know, in a past life I worked in the oil industry but more the  trading, environmental, tax and importation aspects for this important industry to our nation’s economy. We get and enjoy more than gasoline, jet and diesel fuel and home heating oil from refined crude -- plastics, clothing fibers such as spandex as well as many of the roads we drive -- all from cracking and moving around the various hydrocarbons in black gold. I’m keenly aware of the dangers, but I also know there is no quick or easy fix when ultimately the adversary is mother nature.

I’ve watched and followed the Twitterverse on this topic over the past 40-something odd days and I feel bad for those in the region that have lost or who are about to lose their economic livelihood due to the carelessness of a few businesses. A few  here in our RFO family are, will or very soon will be impacted by what is going on down there whether it be the cost of food staples or the enjoyment of natural resources. Those of us who aren’t there will be impacted too, but in a more indirect way. It is sad and should be distressing to us all. But there’s always a “but” with me. I wouldn’t be Golf11, if I didn’t call a spade a spade -- when I simmer and stew I show up here at RFO to think out loud.

For months we have seen our government leaders whine and moan about our move toward “socialism,” too much government interference in business and too much regulation. To these leaders and voters, who support them, we live in a free market, capitalist society. Until recently, there were also calls for “drill baby drill” and opening up restricted leases for more drilling off the coast of the states where oil might be present (a decision the President agreed to and has since held in abeyance). I disagreed with the president on his position during the campaign and again when he finally opened up the additional leases. Finally we now see criticism for the lack of government response to this monumental crisis.

As we criticize the government we need to remember the government we have is the government we send to Washington every two and six years as representatives to Congress. These men and women make the rules and fund the agencies charged with the government response. We need look no further than oil patch representatives who have been bought and paid for by an industry that threatens and cajoles local and national leaders into submission under the guise of creating jobs and swelling state tax coffers. We too hold responsibility, for it is we who elect and send these people to represent us and our own narrow self state interests. These self interests are contrary to our national interests -- what goes on in the gulf is not only Louisiana’s problem but the 49 other states in this Union.

I personally resent all legislators who look out for their states and who do so with reckless abandon and without thought for the holistic aspects to care and remediation for the most dangerous of industries. I’m sorry, crying foul by citizens and local governments rings hollow when there is nary a peep when times are good. Moreover, many (not all) of these citizens and leaders, who happen to be Red State folk are the same people who resent the very regulation and taxes collected that protect their livelihood and resent that any class of people or big city folk get their hard earned tax dollars when, perhaps they fall on hard times. It’s like allowing smoking in a lighter fluid factory because people have a right to smoke, if they so choose, and then crying foul after the place blows up and lives are lost and the main employer in the town is destroyed.

So, here we are, 40-odd days later, listening to the carping about the lack of government response and the need for the government that many of these people despise to do something. Even James Carville is complaining -- his and the outrage of others should happen BEFORE there is a crisis. The arguments that apply now with the destruction, existed before: the loss of life and economic viability of small businesses, the loss of best shrimp and seafood in the country (not crabs, MD is for crabs, and you guys got me) the loss of fishing estuaries for granddads and grandchildren, the loss of wildlife and the beaches that will eventually be destroyed are as relevant today as they are when our government, our representatives considered these operations.  The same holds true for our mining friends in West Virginia too. Sadly though, no one wants to listen to the “Debbie Downers,” for the mantra is “get all you can, can all you get and sit on the can.”

BP and any other company that sniffed, touched, polished, erected, drilled, laid the platform or provided fittings for that off-shore rig should be held totally responsible for the clean-up and recompense to any and all people impacted by this negligence -- even if that means they all go belly-up in the process. Then and only then should the federal government step in, but in the form of loans to the states. But those states and its voters should swallow and absorb the costs for their carelessness too, for this is a monster of their making under the “what’s good for us” category, state’s rights and any other less government, less regulation, free enterprise, capitalistic mantra espoused over the years and the people they send to do their bidding every election year.

Going forward perhaps we all should think about who and what we send to Washington and the state houses and local legislatures. This is a deficit that cannot be paid down and it WILL mortgage our children’s futures, more than unemployment insurance, healthcare reform or any other social program the government opts to implement.

Very well-said, Golf!

I saw this on Word Press and it kind of touches on what you are saying, perhaps a little harsher than I would expose it, but still makes valid points. Basically Jindal and many other elected officials supported drilling and enjoyed the kick-backs. I'm sure the people also supported the perks (did not complain too much) and it was hard to say no to companies who promised 100% safety and that nothing could possibly go wrong with all the "new technologies and updated equipment." It meant jobs, firmer economic opportunities. Now we see the ramifications.

I can kind of relate to this mentality of short term good at the expense of long-term good or safety. I used to live in Oswego which is home to some of those controversial power plants. The town got a huge economic burst  by agreeing to have it. I remember my teaching salary being much higher than average across the state as a nice perk so why would I complain? The elected officials assured the town everything would be fine. So far, so good (as long as we ignore any voiced concerns.) But this situtation brings up the "what if...?" question (see below.) We really need to take a look in the mirror. BP/Haliburton are, without question, the guilty parties, but perhaps we all played a role in this mess. I keep hoping this could be a turning point towards less dependence on oil IF we learn our lesson this time. But will we?

October 11, 2004
Carl Patrickson was fired by Entergy Nuclear on November 20, 2003 after raising a number of problems affecting both occupational and nuclear safety at FitzPatrick. Carl was an Engineer at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, in Oswego, NY, from 1989-2003. His case is pending before the US Dept. of Labor. The most serious of the problems he has raised is inadequate fire protection for the reactor’s backup cooling water pumps. This problem poses a significant safety problem in terms of an accident or attack on the plant.
Click Here For Source Info

And shouldn't this be a red flag? Such a huge "offer"?

May 04, 2010 at 11:47 am

OSWEGO, NY – A tentative tax agreement is reportedly in place between local school – government officials and the Nine Mile Point I nuclear facility.

It nearly triples the amount paid by the facility. Details made public  Tuesday afternoon by Oswego County and the town of Scriba show that the nuclear plant will pay $11 million in taxes this year, up from $4 million.

The agreement is for one year only.

 

Kelly, I understand and it's the nature of the beast. There are a lot of good people in LA, our friend Suzi is one of them, but you know the ones I'm talking about. Those who fail to realize that but for the grace of God go I and criticize helping others when in dire need. It's the political hypocrisy that gets under my skin and I watch as a.) the people who spread this bunk are noticeably quiet and b.) how some federal legislators from the state hurl stones at the federal government response as IF they aren't themselves part of this federal government AND the problem.

The real losers are always the constituents. And despite the Supreme Court's personification of corporations, BP corporate won't have to live in the mess they create. They'll pay some oil remediation company to come clean up what they can without regard to the culture or understanding the VALUE of what's been destroyed in the eyes of the natives.

Bad policy has consequences and in this instance it's not quantifiable, just ask Suzi or the people in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. It's like an insurance company putting a dollar value on a loved one you've lost due to someone's negligence. Any amount is insulting (although total unadulterated bankruptcy for BP, with LA holding all the preferred stock so it gets first crack at the assets to be sold off -- that would go a long way in making me feel better). A good state economy and jobs is great but how many lives need to be destroyed in order to achieve that goal so that yet another politician can say "look what I did for the state." Business will always do whatever it takes to make money and without proper regulation and people saying "no," companies will continue to get by with a bare minimum of care when in dangerous industries such as these.

^^^^^^^
Golf11, NYC
Vero Possumus
http://twitter.com/Golf11

I always enjoy your rants, Golf, this one included.

I'm angry that we're bearing the brunt of almost a decade of "regulation bad" mentality. Funny that the Tea Partiers don't even realize they're being manipulated by those in power who profit greatly by impotent government, but I digress...

Oddly enough, it isn't a lack of regulations that have lead us to BP's mess, the Madoff scandal, the mine disaster, Toyota... it's the regulators who shamelessly looked the other way and failed -- over and over again -- to enforce the regulations.  (In the case of the financial meltdown, it WAS the lack of regulations, i.e. repeal of Glass Stegall; mortgage companies that weren't regulated the same as banks, etc.)  I don't think all of those regulators were stupid... I think they were very aware of the regulations, but they were also very aware of who pulled their strings, and it sure as hell wasn't the public or its health/livelihood/financial security.  It was big corporations in their unholy alliance with our elected officials and helped out by certain "news" organizations.

There... now I've had my rant.

 

I should clarify. Yes, the community often supports questionable projects like drilling when there are tax perks or jobs (and perhaps they deserve some blame) but these big companies often prey on the most vulnerable groups of people and communities. When times are tough, who is going to question some extra revenue or tax breaks for their town? I compare it to poor, young innocent kids who get lured into selling drugs for big money. For some, the temptation is too great to resist.

Kim- Although I heard that there was a wave of deregulation of the oil industry during the Bush years, you may be  right that we probably had many regulations but never demanded that they be followed or asked for any accountability. 

Sen. Barbara Boxer on Rachael Maddow quoted Bush Administration documents from 2007. I think these are the actual documents. Pretty powerful!

BOXER:  -- “Blowouts are expected to have temporary, localized impacts on water quality.”  They said, “Should a spill contact a barrier beach, oiling is expected to be light and sand removal during cleanup activities minimized.”  They said, “Offshore oil spills resulting from a lease sale are not expected to damage significantly any wetlands along the Gulf Coast.”
And two more quick things they said: “At the expected level of impact, the resultant influence on commercial fishing from a lease sale would be negligible and indistinguishable from variations due to natural causes.”
And, finally, they said, “Based on the sizes of oil spills assumed for a lease sale, only localized and short-term disruption of recreational activity might result (minor impact).”

 

They trivialize the potential for damage so the nay-sayers will go along and they villanize the environmental groups as overzealous tree huggers who simply hate all business.

Yes, they do wave around large sums of moeny but as I suggested below, what's to stop the state from saying you build the safe gaurds as a condition of drilling here, berms, etc, etc. Just like they get tax breaks for locating there they should also provide and build permanent protections for the area in the event something like this goes wrong.

While I'm at it, might I sugest that BP not let their chairman set foot in front of a camera...the man just does not know what to say out of his mouth.

^^^^^^^
Golf11, NYC
Vero Possumus
http://twitter.com/Golf11

I am ALWAYS weary of government action, but this fiasco has shown where government oversight is necessary and has exposed some small-government-always types for the hypocrites they are.  

Unless you want the constant threat of lawsuits to regulate every move we make you need regulation, and you need a strong, effective federal government. 

Interesting note: the Journal of Finance recently published a study that shows a correlation between corporate political contributions and stock returns.  I can't link the source because it's a subscribe only, but I've pasted the Abstract below.  If anyone wants further information, I suppose you could Google any of the following:

Michael J. Cooper

Huseyin Gulen

Alexei Ovtchinnikov

Journal of Finance, Vol 65, No. 2, pp 687-724

Abstract:

Abstract

The authors examine political contributions to candidates made by publicly traded companies. They find a positive correlation between the number of candidates supported and a company’s future returns. The authors conclude that their findings are consistent with the notion that political contributions are made because they constitute positive net present value investments.

 

If only we had a "government take-over" of oil companies way back when with tons of oversite and regulation. Then these anti-government folks (even Bachman!!) would not be screaming for more government involvement, asking us to use our already-stretched thin military in full force, and screaming at President Obama for not taking over BP. Yes, these "get the government out of my face" people are actually begging for a government take-over. You are right, John. The hyprocrisy is overwhleming! Why can't they see that if we have responsible and consistent government involvement at all levels-especially where safety is a concern-we could prevent such disasters, save lives, save the environment, and save the tax-payers money. I certainly hope this "blunder" (understatement of the year) leads to new, better, real regulation and climate change legislation that finally ends our dependence on oil!

Vitter and Jindal question Obama's decision for a moratorium of deepwater drilling, citing the economic impact of such a move. President Obama (so far) holds firm and an official responds with his reasons for implementing this.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wrote President Obama a letter on Wednesday criticizing his decision to implement a temporary moratorium of deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Arguing that his state had already suffered crippling economic consequences, the Louisiana Republican urged Obama to rethink his decision to suspend activity at 33 previously permitted deepwater drilling rigs -- including 22 "currently in operation off the Louisiana coast."

Joining Jindal in his call to lift the moratorium is Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) who accused the Obama administration of pursuing a policy that "could kill thousands of Louisiana jobs."

In his letter, Gov. Jindal said his state was facing "one of the most challenging economic periods in decades."

"The last thing we need is to enact public policies that will certainly destroy thousands of existing jobs while preventing the creation of thousands more," he added.

UPDATE: A White House official emails over a rather blunt response. The gist is simple: while Jindal and others may think dire economic consequences will result from the moratorium, it would be far more perilous and catastrophic if another spill took place.

The 6-month moratorium on deepwater drilling was instituted for a clear reason: the President believes we must ensure that the BP Deepwater Horizon spill is never repeated. This will allow for the new safety equipment and procedures announced in Secretary Salazar's May 27th report to be implemented and for the independent commission to review the cause of the spill and analyze the rules and regulations governing offshore drilling.


A repeat of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill would have grave economic consequences for regional commerce and do further damage to the environment.

Among the drilling rigs that have frozen exploration in the Gulf are 2 operated by BP, and 2 jointly operated by BP and another company. Proceeding without the moratorium would mean that BP would continue deepwater exploration in the Gulf.

Economic impacts were certainly taken into account - the moratorium is surgical and shallow water drilling, in which the risks are better known, is continuing under stricter safety rules. Additionally, oil and gas production is continuing at the existing set of production wells, so we are not expecting short term effects on our oil and gas supply.

Under the administration's legislative proposal to assist those harmed by the spill, workers unemployed because of the 6-month moratorium would be eligible for unemployment assistance. The proposal would also create jobs for cleanup, restoration, renovation and recovery. And the Small Business Administration is currently offering economic injury loans to impacted businesses on the Gulf Coast.

 

 

I really lost it when I heard about this last night!!!  While I've been supportive of Jindal's reaction to the spill, this is sheer lunacy.  Drill more of the same before we even get a handle on cleaning up this one, and haven't been able to stop it from gushing out of the sea floor?  Really Gov Jindal????  Is our state totally suicidal?  One disaster at a time is all I can handle.

I have a lot to write about on this thread, but can't seem to sort it all out to make sense to others.  I may have to just ramble if no one objects......

As for Vitter the Viper...That idiot is the one that started the meme about "not shutting down the airline industry because of one plane crash" which is now being picked up by many others.  He makes me sick!!!

That's an idiotic comparison.   Not to minimize their pain and suffering, but the impact after a crash is confined to the family and friends of those on board.  The impact of the oil spill is far reaching in many respects , in addition to the pain and suffering of the families and friends of the 11 men who died.  

You go ahead and ramble, it's a lot to grasp.

Suzi, these guys can't plan for something like this, it's like having a jet where all the engines go dead...you can guess what might work but since no one has tested it, for obvious reasons, it's a crap shoot. What BP is doing is guessing, they are pulling out all the hypotheticals based on the what-ifs and they are seeing it just ain't working. This is a mess.

Be angry, stay angry and ride their asses like a cheap suit in the rain. And then raise hell when they talk about the need for drilling off your coast, but more importantly, hold your elected officials accountable. Your state should have a plan if they want to do this sort of thing at the risk of ruining the natural resources down there. How do you allow something and not have your own plan in effect.

Perhaps Jindal should ask the oil companies to build the berms he's suggesting the feds build as a condition of doing business in your state. That sounds like a reasonable request to me.

^^^^^^^
Golf11, NYC
Vero Possumus
http://twitter.com/Golf11

I can't figure out where to start to make my rambling cohesive, so I'll attempt to make a different post for each subject I want to cover...bear with me if I'm not successful.  Also bear with me if I sound upset, angry, scared or sad....I'm all of those.

First, I was one of the few here that was in favor of domestic drilling, as a bridge between where we are today and the switch to renewable energy.  I preferred that to being dependent on oil from the Middle East.  I never, ever want to see another war fought for oil.  I stand by that opinion. BUT.....

I also said that we have the technology to leave a very small footprint on the planet...and we do.  But no matter how good the technology, it doesn't do a damn bit of good if it's not used!!  Shortcuts taken by BP and Halliburton for sure, and probably Transocean, failed to use and/or implement the technology, all for the sake of inflating an already obscene bottom line.  Eleven men died, families grieve, people's livelihoods are lost, a valuable ecosystem is destroyed, a way of life may be gone forever.  ALL FOR $$$$$ AND GREED!! 

BP filed all the required paperwork, saying *wink wink* we have this that and the other in place.  MMS winked back and granted the permits, at times in 5 minutes.  Just as with technology, regulation does no good if it isn't enforced. 

Just as with Health Care, Pharma, Wall Street, Banks etc, the power of big business rules.  They have wormed their way so deep into the political system, I don't know if there is a way out.   

 

Obama and Me

I love my president...I still do.  But I have been upset with him for his slow response.  It's like in a relationship, when the very attributes that attract you can drive you nuts later.  His thoughtful, pragmatic approach to problem solving is one of the reasons I support him.  But when I'm feeling such urgency for my home, that quality is maddening.  I wanted to see urgency and passion in his response, but that's not his style.  BUT......

Over the last week, I've come to a new conclusion.  You may or may not agree with me, but here goes....

To me, and many others, it seems obvious that someone who briefs Obama was not giving him a complete picture.  Obama talked at length to Nungesser, and Billy said the same thing.  Someone with their own agenda, be it blue vs red, or ties to big oil.  Rahm?  He certainly is part of the political machine system in Washington.  Someone else?  I don't know.  But when President came down here last Friday, he wasn't shown the worst devastation.  A few tar balls on the beach are small potatoes compared to what we're facing.  But he talked, and listened, not only to Jindal, but to the parish presidents.  I think when he returned to Chicago, not surrounded by those "voices" involved in sugar coating it, he possibly saw for himself what was really happening down here.  There was a drastic change in the reaction from Washington after Memorial Day.   President Obama will be here again tomorrow, and I strongly suspect he will not only meet with officials, but will also get a closer look and talk with some of the local people. 

I hope whoever was misleading him gets jacked up hard, and if I had my way, fired or demoted to a file room somewhere.

Totally understand, sounds like our marriage, lol. But more seriously though, what good would being upset do for the president? It wouldn't cap the well, and rushing BP to a quick fix isn't really smart either, that's just asking for another excuse for them to take a shortcut -- like plunging a toilet and the guy shows you that the water's gone down and then you use and flush and there's crap all over the place.

And I bet you dollars to donuts, the government's not acting cause they don't know HOW to fix either. They hardly have the same technology that the oil companies have OR they fix it and when it goes belly up BP says well now you've really messed it up it ain't our problem since you didn't let us fix it.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I love ya babe, but rethink your offshore drilling stance. It's just bad policy, hell screw the policy, it's just dangerous. On land you can get people at it, down there and I have no idea how many feet down it is, you can't get stuff down there. I'm no sailor, but subs have a crush depth, so no human can go down there.

^^^^^^^
Golf11, NYC
Vero Possumus
http://twitter.com/Golf11

If this marriage is going to survive, I have to educate you on the cold hard facts of life in oil producing states.  lol

First, let me restate that I in no way expected the government to fix it.  I know they can't, nor is it their responsibility.  Only the oil industry has the knowledge, technology and equipment to handle it.  What I wanted from the president is what I'm getting now.  Visible leadership...with the operative word being visible.  Since his second trip down here (not yesterday, but the Friday before) things have taken a turn for the better as far as BP etc feeling the pressure to get something done.  Local officials, since that visit, are singing Obama's praises, and trusting that he will help us.  He looked them in the eye and made that promise.  Today's weekly radio and internet address is a prime example of what I, and many others, wanted.

I would love to back off of my stance on off shore drilling, but don't see how it's possible to stop, given our nation's addiction to oil.  There's not enough land based oil in the US to supply the need.  Believe me, if there were, oil companies could make a lot more money (the only thing that matters to them) drilling on land rather than off shore.  Peak oil, even off shore, is a fact, and what is pushing the rigs further and further out.  Deep water drilling is where I draw the line though.  I also oppose any drilling until someone in government can guarantee that ALL safety precautions and regulations are being monitored and enforced.

So I ask you, what is your alternative?  Start buying more oil from the Middle East?  Do you have any idea how many things are petroleum based?  How much are each of us willing to give up? It's not just gasoline and oil products, or even energy.  Here and here are two lists of only a few of the things we use daily that use petroleum products.  I sincerely hope everyone will click on the two links above to see just how oil-dependent our society really is.

Also, see my post in reply to Izzy about the economy here. You're right about one thing tho hon...it's damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

The alternative is to tax the hell out of oil so as to make its use prohibitively expensive and to find alternatives that can be substituted for oil like we do for everything else. I'm fully aware of all that comes from oil but just as quikly as those items were created and inveted, alternatives can take their place.

We are the only people on Earth who feel we have a right to inexpensive gasoline even though what we pay for a gallon is 2-3 times less than what other people pay for a liter, save in the oil producing states of the Middle East. All the while some of us drive around in huge SUV. Digging for oil here will NOT curb our dependence on foreign oil. We CONSUME MORE OIL than is available within our borders and off our shores, PERIOD, so who or WHAT is going to fill the gap Venezuela, the Soviet Union? And trust me, I'm fully aware of what IS made from oil, and don't need to read that list. But I can tell you this from memory, only about 19 or 20 gallons of gasoline come from a single barrel and anything else is run-off so it takes a lot of that run-off to make that other stuff. It's like pouring left-over cake batter in a tin and calling it a cupcake, it's waste that they found use for. Gasoline is the primo product from the barrel.

To paraphrase a line from Gene Hackman from the movie The Birdcage: I know we depend heavily on oil -- but how many lives have to be ruined to satisfy that appetite.

^^^^^^^
Golf11, NYC
Vero Possumus
http://twitter.com/Golf11

One of my all time favorite movies..Hilarious!  So I'll paraphrase right back to you.....Don't take that sarcastic tone that says you know it all because you're a man, and I don't know anything because I'm a woman. ;-)

I agree with everything you said...except the "quickly" part.  It won't, and can't, happen quickly.   Those cupcakes involve too many businesses and industries.  Which cupcakes are we willing to do without? 

I don't propose the drilling to "fill the gap".  The gap needs to be closed until it disappears.  I only support domestic drilling as a means to that end.  AND because I'm too realistic and pragmatic.  I don't see it being economically feasible for the oil producing states, or the federal government.  I will confess that I want to be wrong.

In MY ideal world, I would wake up tomorrow to clean renewable energy on all fronts.  Something that would support all the people that are now employed by the oil industry.  In that world, I would never again hear of a rig accident, and have my insides clutch, waiting to see if anyone I know was hurt of killed.

The bottom line is, we are raping our planet for $$$, and she is fighting back. (NOT that this in any way a natural disaster!)  The other day, we had the spill, plus an explosion on a gas line that ran through an abandoned mine.  Strike three said fate...I need to get your attention for Mother Nature.

Back to rational thinking and pragmatism... JFK set a timetable to put a man on the moon.  I would love to see President Obama set such a timetable for weaning ourselves off of oil, and for us all to start working towards that end.

 

Suzi-my heart truly breaks for this impossible situtation, the worst of the pain coming from the knowledge it could have been prevented. I agree that Obama's "cool" is not welcome in such dire circumstances, but as Golf pointed out, would a red-faced swearing "McCain-like" image make anything better? I think they are doing all they can-which is utterly limited- and I'm sure President Obama is incredibly frustrated by the fact that he must depend on BP for their knowledge and equipment because we just don't have the means. Interesting article I saw on TPM about the frantic calls from his own party (echoed by the right) for President Obama to "take over" the situtation. Perhaps a cynical view, but could the GOP operatives know that it would be instant failure for the President and another example they could site of "government incompetence" since even the "experts at BP" don't have a clue? Ofcourse, the GOP wants Obama to "own" this doomsday situtation 100%. Why would they want BP to look like they were the ones who screwed up?

BTW, Suzi, I agree that Pres. Obama may be surrounded by bad advice, but guess who was with him in Chicago? Michelle, ofcourse. She does keep him grounded, doesn't she? I'll bet she gave him a "get with the program" chat. If he meets directly with the people and goes to the most devastated areas, we'll know her fingerprints are on it : )

I don't think I'm making myself clear as to what I expected President Obama to do....too emotionally involved to be coherent, maybe? ;-)

No one besides BP and the oil industry can cap/stop/slow down this damn gusher.  What Obama could have done sooner, and is NOW doing, is take a more forceful role in co-ordinating the clean-up effort, and seeing to it that the things needed by local officials are provided.  For too long, those decisions, and the timing for them, were left to BP and whoever in the White House that was giving bad advice.

I feel our Federal government is responsible for protecting our coastline and our citizens.  Do it, and send the bill to BP.   BP, Halliburton, TransOcean etc could care less about us ... My President does.  I didn't want him red in the face like McCain, but I did want him to show to people of the Gulf Coast that he cared and is doing all he can to help and protect us.  He's doing that now, so I'm happy.  It doesn't change the first month of this ordeal, but I feel sure the lesson won't be wasted on the president.

You're right Izzy, about Michelle.  AND word has it that after his meeting today in NOLA he will be heading to the Gulf Coast and meeting directly with some of the residents.  I know the right will crow "political expediency" but I closely watched the change evolve, and know better.  I see Michelle's fingerprint all over it, plus the compassion of my President when he gets away from those giving him bad advice for their own purposes.

Oh, BTW...Obama was supposed to go by helicopter to the coast from NOLA, but due to bad thunderstorms, will travel by car...a long and winding road taking over two hours.  THAT"S the president I voted for.                                     

 

From The Hill (reporting President Obama's comments from Larry King Live.)

Asked if he is angry at BP, Obama said, "You know, I am furious at this entire situation because this is an example where somebody didn't think through the consequences of their actions. It's imperiling not just a handful of people. This is imperiling an entire way of life and an entire region for potentially years."

The president has been pressured by some observers, including Democratic strategist James Carville, to show more emotion over the spill and play a more active role in the response to the spill, which Obama has called the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. 

...Obama said BP has "felt the anger" and he would prefer them to have a more "rapid response" to the spill. 

...Obama said he would "love" to spend a lot of his time "venting and yelling at people" but said that it is more important to find a solution to plug the leak from the underwater oil well quickly. 

"My job is to solve this problem and ultimately this isn't about me and how angry I am," he said. "Ultimately this is about the people down in the Gulf who are being impacted and what am I doing to make sure that they're able to salvage their way of life. And that's going to be the main focus that I've got in the weeks and months ahead."

I watched the whole interview and was impressed.  I did catch a couple of things though that I want to point out.  They underscore my impression that someone within the administration has their own agenda.

One, when Larry King asked about the moratorium on ALL drilling, and Obama said no, only deep water rigs.  Kind later said that he asked that question because he had been informed that all rigs would now be included.  I know King was telling the truth, as I also got that as a news alert via Reuters and other news sources.  WHO in the administration is making such statements without the approval of the President?

Also, the information given to Obama about the effect of hurricanes is probably erroneous.  At best, it represents only one school of thought which believes that a hurricane would act as a dispersant to the oil.   That's an unknown and a guess, as it's never been tested.  And although that may be a possibility, the definites state that, depending on which direction the hurricane comes from towards the coast, oil can very likely be pushed further inland with the storm surge.  Once again, SOMEONE is presenting things in a way that lessens the severity of the situation.   I want to know who it is, and why they are doing it.   Someone has their own agenda, and it is hurting my President and his credibility to those who won't think past the obvious.

Oil still gushing and now this. These people are insane.


^^^^^^^
Golf11, NYC
Vero Possumus
http://twitter.com/Golf11

They did ask: Can we do it faster? he said. And what I said to them was the same thing that I said to (Bob) Graham and (William) Reilly, which is, you do it as fast as it takes to do it right. - Pres. Obama

********

"Who's your daddy now?"

I understand the reasoning for being against the moratorium economically, but it's not a chance worth taking.  I agree, it's insane.  (See my post in reply to Izzy)

Canada's northern peoples called for a moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Canadian Arctic until safeguards are in place to avoid a spill like the one in the Gulf of Mexico.

******

It took 10 months to stop the 1979 Ixtoc oil spill... The Ixtoc was a shallow-water rig about 150 feet deep. Methods for stopping underwater wells has not changed much since then.

Suzi-do you think these calls to continue risky drilling are a result of pressure from the workers of those rigs, management of the rigs, or oil lobbyists-or a combination? I saw a mayor on CNN saying she was pleading with Pres. Obama to reconsider (and called it a bad day because he would not) and brushed off the question of safety, saying something along the lines of "this has been done safety for decades and one mistake should not punish all." She also feared these rigs would move to Africa permanently. When Bltizer suggested the workers would have unemployment, she said some of them are making $80,000/year and they would only get $800 per month. I am just curious if these calls to reopen the other operations is supported by the public, or those you've spoken to, or are people angry, taken aback, shocked by the suggestion? I know Vitter wants a "compromise" where inspections are ramped up and if they "pass" they can continue. I think he is missing the point. I'm sure BP "passed" many such inspections but until we do a comprehensive review (6 months seems reasonable) we will never know the cause, the real problems, the risks and will take a chance on another tragedy. I'm sure President Obama would love to keep 6000 people working-it's in his political interest to keep unemployment down. But I think he knows this is the right thing to do. I hope he sticks to his guns on this but I can see the pressure mounting from Dem's & Republicans in the impacted area mounting.

Here's an idea. BP and the other oil companies are desperately trying to win a PR campaign, trying to clean up their image, act like they care. BP even spent tons of money on these "we care" commercials featuring the CEO. What if the top oil companies come together and offer temporary compensation to the 6000 workers "on hold" due to the moratorium, maybe off-setting any loss from unempoyment for 6 months. Imagine what that would do for the image of the oil companies. Actually doing something for the public to ensure safety and fairness, showing something other than greed and desire for profit. That would be better money spent than on these ridiculous ads where people are just screaming at the CEO anyway! If only one company stepped up, there could be a campaign to support it by the public. I suggested the same thing with the bailout of credit card companies (hey, we will hold all rates at 10% as a thank you) but instead they raised rates-so I'm not holding out hope with such greedy corporations! Don't you love the dream world I live in?

You're asking a really tough question Izzy, and I'll answer to the best of my ability.  I think the answer will surprise (shock?) you, but it's the reality down here.  The truth is, the answer is far more complex than it appears on the surface, and may be very hard for those not living in a Gulf Coast state to really understand.  But I'll try.

First, let me say that I, personally, support the moratorium, and think that deep water drilling should be banned altogether.   Obviously, the technology either doesn't exist (in the case of reaction to spills) or isn't being used (the safety technology).  All of the major oil companies are working with BP on this, and if the containment/clean-up ability were there, someone would have used it.  It seems they all said they have it, but lied.  I know BP did.

We often say, especially in La and Tex, that we have an "oil based economy".  That doesn't just mean the drilling rigs etc.  From La to Tex,  and up and down the MS River locally, the landscape is dotted with petroleum and chemical refineries and plants.  The chemical plants make petroleum based chemicals for use in a gazillion every day products that we all use.  These plants employ hundreds of thousands of workers, mostly with pay scales above  $75,000 yr.   The local Exxon plant has a huge five story office building just for the paper shuffling part of the operation.  The plant itself has well over 3,000 employees.  For every plant job, at least 9 or 10 jobs are created in the state outside of the plant itself, providing support supplies etc.  That's about 30,000 jobs created by this ONE refinery.  Multiply that times the many plants that exist here, and you have a small inkling into the impact on the economy.  There are companies that make the drums used for shipping the products from all of these plants, and those who "drum" the product for the plants.  Don't forget all of the pipelines that must be maintained to move all of the petroleum from each one of these facilities to another.  Also there are ports, barges and shipping companies that also play their part.   It goes all the way down to the small mom and pop operations that provide lunch wagons to sell meals to those who work in the plants. 

The rigs themselves also provide many "down line" jobs aside from those working directly on the rigs.  There are the land based operations, offices etc.  There are also entire industries built around providing services to the rigs...such as supply boats which bring everything from equipment, food to toilet paper to each rig, trucking companies especially equiped to transport the pieces and parts it takes to build and maintain the rigs, uniform services that clean and deliver the uniforms to the workers, insurance companies etc.  I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.  We're talking about FAR MORE than 6,000 jobs.

I explained all of that to help you all understand why, Yes, the general population wants the moratorium lifted and drilling to continue.  Their livelihood is in some way related, and they depend on it for survival.  To lose the oil industry to them is the exact same thing as losing the shrimp etc is to the fishermen, just on a more complicated basis.

On the other hand, everyone hates BP!!  Most people were like me, assuming that the regulations and safety proceedures were in place and being enforced.  They're really pissed at the cavalier attitude with which these regulations were ignored, and pissed at the government for allowing it.

I think the review will take 6 months at a minimum.  Not only do the rigs need to be inspected, but the trail of paperwork and permits for each rig must be inspected for violations along the whole drilling process.  This disaster proves that we cannot depend on a regular "inspection", or on the guarantees offered by the oil companies, in writing, used to gain their permits.  We also need to weed out those in MMS who are in bed with big oil, and issued any permits big oil companies...not just BP...requested.

Vitter the Viper be damned...He is using this for political advantage, and playing it well.  On the other hand, Melancon has gotten a lot of great press out of his reaction to the spill and BP.  We'll have to see how this one plays out leading up to the election this fall.

I DO love your dream world..and wish I lived there too.  This real world sucks!

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