Disjointed thoughts on the oil spill.

Every time BP representatives open their mounts about the oil spill, they do as much polluting with bulls$@& as their oil is polluting the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It seems that BP pretty much equals BS.

I couldn’t believe it, but my wife sat right beside me and heard the same news report the other day, in which a Coast Guard official said that under BP’s orders, release of news of the spill was being controlled and withheld, and that under BP’s orders, reporters and scientists were being turned away from beaches and marshes where the oil has washed ashore. Since when does a foreign (British) company give a branch of the United States Armed Forces orders? As I recall my high school American history, wasn’t it American armed forces that kicked the British out of this country back in 1783, and again in 1814?

Would somebody please find BP chief executive Tony Hayward, and give him a swift kick in the ass? A couple of days ago, this arrogant airhead told residents of the Gulf Coast “I would like my life back.” No kidding, Tony? I bet those folks would like their lives back! Those struggling fishermen, motel operators, small business owners, and laborers who are not making millions of dollars in profits. Those people who are seeing their way of life, their homeland, and their future covered in sludge. Yeah, I think maybe they want their lives back too.

Where is the Tea Party and all of those folks who are so quick to criticize everything else, when the Gulf Coast is being decimated by this nightmare oil spill? Cleaning up this mess could very well cost taxpayers much more than free healthcare or all of the corporate bailouts combined!

Where are all of those Hollywood celebrities who were so quick to get their faces in front of a camera, coming to the rescue of people in Haiti after the earthquake? I guess charity does not begin at home!

People are quick to blame President Obama for not magically forcing the oil to stop flowing, but what about the politicians responsible for strangling protective regulations for the oil industry in general, in the last ten years or so?

Why does the Halliburton Company’s name keep coming up in all of this? The news says BP is buying a chemical dispersant from Halliburton to help clean up the oil. As much as we all hate BP right now, it was actually Halliburton that was originally responsible for securing the plug in the oil well that is now destroying the Gulf. Experts say that improper cementing of the plug may have caused the original blowout. And now Halliburton is making money selling the chemical to clean up the mess they helped make? Maybe we should start a federal program to pay graffiti artists for cleaning up the messes they make too.

Let’s see, Halliburton….  Wasn’t it Halliburton that was accused of grossly overcharging the United States government (taxyayers) for its services in the Mideast? Wasn’t it a Halliburton subsidy that opened an office in Tehran in 2001 (while Dick Cheney was the company’s CEO), that was accused of violating the Trading With The Enemy Act? The company’s response was “This is a foreign subsidiary and no US person is involved in this. No US person is facilitating any transaction. We are not performing directly in that country. This is not breaking any laws.” Isn’t that kind of like you can’t be just a little bit pregnant? But nothing ever came of the accusation, or from any of Halliburton’s other misdeeds. During the 2000 presidential election, Dick Cheney retired from Halliburton with a severance package worth $36 million. Then he received at least $398,548 more from Halliburton, in deferred compensation while Vice President. And Halliburton keeps on keeping on. Isn’t that odd?

The other day President Obama said that for too long, there has been a “cozy” relationship between oil companies and federal agencies. Let’s see, didn’t BP give Obama $77,000 during his run for the White House? That’s a damned “cozy” figure if you ask me! Not that Obama has been the only recipient of the company’s largess. The Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign research organization, shows BP has given $6.2 million to nearly 1,000 candidates for federal office over the past 20 years. Man, I need some of that “coziness” myself!

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17 Comments on BP = BS

  1. MichaelG says:

    You said “Cleaning up this mess could very well cost taxpayers much more than free healthcare or all of the corporate bailouts combined!”

    Please! The numbers for health care and the bailouts together are in the trillions of dollars. I don’t think the cleanup numbers will be a fraction of that.

    Of course, a lot of the damage can’t be cleaned up period. The animals die and the ecosystem just has to clean itself over decades. I’m not sure what price you put on that. But all the fisherman in the area put together probably don’t make even billions of dollars, let alone trillions.

    As for Halliburton and other businesses involved, I don’t think there are a lot of choices. For some of these large projects and specialized products, you might have only a handful of companies that can even do the job worldwide. It’s not like there are millions of deepwater wells.

    When it comes to regulation, I’m amused at all the people screaming “the regulators were too soft! We need more regulators!” Regulators get in bed with their industries so often that economists have a name for it — “regulatory capture.”

    BP has a long record of safety violations, and no one cared enough to do anything about it. Just adding more people to the public payroll isn’t going to change that. After this spill, they will get lots of inspections, but I really expect the industry to just close wells and import more. And it has been pointed out that wells actually have a better safety record than ships. Increase the regulation of wells and you might actually cause more oil spills, because more oil will be imported by ship.

    For the rest of it, rant all you like, but none of these problems are unique to the oil industry. The more the government spends and regulates, the more lobbyists it attracts. They know where the money is.

  2. Jerry Hedges says:

    One main reason this well is so difficult to “cap” is because it is in 5,000 feet of water. The reason the well is so far off-shore where it is that deep is that the tree huggers have been successful if getting legislation passed that prohibits drilling within eye site from the beaches. Hence, drilling is done so far off shore that the water is that deep and greatly hampers a repair when there is a problem at the well head. Also, the same tree huggers have been successful in keeping the oil companies from drilling on shore where a blow out can easily be capped.

    I agree with your comments about BP. However, some of the blame has got to go on the tree huggers.

  3. Orville Schinke says:

    Our president keeps saying he’s in charge. How in the world is he or anyone else in our “government” going to be able to do anything to cap the leak? Do you know anyone in “government” who has 1/1000th of the expertise needed to do the job?

    Accidents happen. I don’t believe BP created the explosion of the oil rig which resulted in the blowout of the well.

    If we weren’t relegated to drilling offshore, this wouldn’t have happened. The liberals keep saying we need to get off buying our oil from the Mideast; then let the oil companies drill in ANWR where there are millions of barrels of oil just waiting to be used.

  4. Ken H says:

    Well Bad Nick, it isn’t often I disagree with you, but this is it. BP North America is the operation in the US. Not British. With Obama and his minions screaming about “keeping our boot on the neck of BP” and other such far fetched ideas, all they do is hurt us. We, the taxpayers, will eventually pay off this huge cost, which, by the way, BP has said we will make it right. They are already doing so.
    Hayward did make a dumb statement about getting his life back. Probably so, after who knows how many days of 18 to 20 hour days.

    As far as who is in charge, have you ever worked with the Coast Guard in the oil industry? The Coast Guard is in charge, nothing happens unless the CG says it is OK to do so (and they sometimes take days to make up their minds). The CG Adm Thad Allen, has had to approve each and every thing BP has done so far.

    They and others would not let BP set fire to the spill at first, as mandated by US Regs as a first line of defense. The Gov’t is mandated to have on hand miles of oil containment boom, dispersant chemicals, cleaning wipes, etc., etc. This all came up when the clean-up fund was established after Exxon Valdez.

    Don’t swallow all the hype about all the “safety violations” the talking heads on TV scream about. When you go through an inspection off-shore, a safety violation can be a sagging safety cable on the plus 5 deck (where nobody goes) and the cable is fit for purpose, it is just not taut. A violation can be an extension cord on the deck (that a crew member forgot to return to stores). Most of the violations against BP stemmed from the disastrous explosion at their Texas City Refinery several years ago. All the MMS inspectors are not perfect, nor is BP, but most often the MMS inspectors are good at their job, and are very professional. BP has several safety programs in place and you can get fired in a heartbeat for failing to perform as dictated.

    As far a Halliburton goes, they cement according to how the engineers tell them to. All they provide is pumps and material, but they do have a certain expertise in the area. How many cement jobs have they had fail in the last 60 years?

    This spill is enormous, but pales in comparision to Ixotoc back in the 80s (I think), it flowed for over 5 months before being capped. No screaming then about criminal prosecution.

    When Holder started spouting off about criminal prosecution, BP stock took a dive. How are they going to pay for clean-up if the White House bankrupts them? BP NA has very deep pockets, but there is a limit. BP has promised to make it right, why don’t we give them a chance instead of making politics as usual?

    Oh well, off my soapbox now.

  5. John Brown says:

    Well Nick usually I have no difficulty seeing your side of the issue but on this one I guess my old loyalties are coming out. I spent about 40 years working in the oil business, a large part of that doing a lot of risk communication with communities, and it is difficult for me to see past the fact that this is an “accident” a horrid one but an accident nevertheless. I have no fear that it will not be investigated fully and ALL of the causes will be identified and the industry will address those causes and implement solutions immediately.

    Now could BP have done a better job of communicating with the public, you bet, could they have been more transparent, of course. But certainly it is understandable that with the Justice Department stalking around the scene roaring about a criminal investigation there will be some hesitation in making any statements.

    As for the liability I recall BP saying they would be liable for any and all legitimate costs. I have no reason to believe that they will not live up to that statement. Luckily they have the resources to make that doable, and this was not a well drilled by some smaller independent who might see some wisdom in just folding the tent up and closing the doors.

    Now that that is off my chest, I agree this is a catastrophic incident and it will take an immense effort to bring the region back to some kind of normality. My partner and I just wish there was more we could do to help, cleaning birds, beaches, whatever, but we are in the midst of our annual exile to Canada so will have to reassess once we can head south in the fall. Until that time although our thoughts are with those affected our willing hands are not.

  6. concerned in Texas says:

    Geez. All of these problems are enough to make this 71 year old geezer go off and live the rest of his life in an RV.

  7. Kenneth says:

    It is BP fault, our government’s fault and our fault.
    We will pay the bill when it comes due.

  8. Frank Serrao says:

    With all the blame going around we forget that Obama made the decision to allow the offshore drilling to begin with. He should have made dang sure that all the safety provisions were in place. His lack of experience shows. Whatever happened to “The Buck Stops Here”. This guy is taking no responsibility whatsoever for the disaster his lack of experience has caused.
    If this is the way the government handles things, how do we expect them to run the health care in America. Boy, are we in for a big surprise. They’ve never run anything right.

  9. Frank Serrao says:

    With all the blame going around we forget that Obama made the decision to allow the offshore drilling to begin with. He should have made dang sure that all the safety provisions were in place. His lack of experience shows. Whatever happened to “The Buck Stops Here”. This guy is taking no responsibility whatsoever for the disaster. If this is the way the government handles things, how do we expect them to run the health care in America. Boy, are we in for a big surprise. They’ve never run anything right.

  10. Susan Cameron says:

    Here’s a quote from Frank Rich’s column in the New York Times today:

    “In the last three years, according to the Center for Public Integrity, BP accounted for “97 percent of all flagrant violations found in the refining industry by government safety inspectors” — including 760 citations for “egregious, willful” violations (compared with only eight at the two oil companies that tied for second place). Hayward’s predecessor at BP, ousted in a sex-and-blackmail scandal in 2007, had placed cost-cutting (and ever more obscene profits) over safety, culminating in the BP Texas City refinery explosion that killed 15 and injured 170 in 2005. Last October The Times uncovered documents revealing that BP had still failed to address hundreds of safety hazards at that refinery in the four years after the explosion, prompting the largest fine in the history of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (The fine, $87 million, was no doubt regarded as petty cash by a company whose profit reached nearly $17 billion last year.)”

  11. Phil Brown says:

    Pure and simple , all accidents are preventable. There is no excuse for this disaster. It’s all about the companies greed, and I’m sure there is enough fault to go around all the companies envolved.The ottom line is though that we citizens are going to pay for all of this mess one way or another.

  12. Keith Walker says:

    That’s complete bullshit Frank. Obama did not “allow” offshore oil drilling. I live in Gulf Shores, Alabama and have fished around the oil rigs for many years. Long before Obama ever took office. Get your facts straight.

  13. Max S. says:

    Your right, Frank Serrao, its all Obama’s fault. He probably swam down and broke the damn cap on the oil well himself! In fact, I’m pretty sure its his fault that my dad was a drunk, that my first wife left me, that my kids are ugly, that somebody ran over my favorite dog last year, and that I had acne when I was a kid!

    I get so damned sick and tired of all this political bullshit from both sides. If you don’t like Obama, vote him out of office next time around. But stop blaming him for everything that has ever happened. When you do, All you do is make yourself look and sound like a fool!

  14. Wayne Paul says:

    You people that thinks BP will pay for this oil spill. Just remember the Exxon Valdez spill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. ken t says:

    I never used bp products before,but from now on i won’t use any thing but BP! I want them filthy ritch so they won’t run out of cash for the clean up! And if all you other wiseguys would do the same ,we might get through this! and while your at it get off your asses and run down to the neerest tarball covered beach and start picking up tarballs and dead birds!!! Ken T

  16. Wayne Paul says:

    ken t save your money.

  17. Janice L. Evans says:

    argghhhhh. . .this is why the news media frustrates me to no end. . .just as I was willing to give then candidate Obama a pass for saying he had been to 57 states. . .I am willing to give the BP president a pass for his mis-statement. . .do you guys not have a filter of common sense that you can pass these things through? Have you never had a crisis, or meltdown in your life, and said something stupid that you wish you could take back the minute it leaves your mouth?

    Give me a break you sanctimonious bunch of whiners. . .you think just because you hate something, it makes it ok to bash everything about it. . .

    Oh and the Mr BP President is watching a yacht race. . .while Mr President of the United States is watching a baseball game. . .and that’s OK too. . .what do you people expect? For the two of them to dive down there and plug the hole themselves? Get real!

    I would like for them both to have their lives back, along with the entire Gulf Coast region. . .how’s that for a fair and balanced thought?

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