May 6, 2010
Obey, oil, and more money in politics
Matt Simmons, a 41-year veteran of the oil industry, confirms Fighting Bob's worst fears. The Washington Post says Simmons "sees a disaster on an epic scale as the pressurized subterranean reservoir known as the Macondo field, tapped for the first time by Deepwater Horizon, continues to vent into the gulf."
In Simmons's words: "This is a catastrophe. I don't think they're going to be able to put the leak out until the reservoir depletes. It's just too technically challenging." Then, he predicts, BP will have to clean up the entire Gulf--and it could be ruined by this mess.
Not so fast with the funeral music--BP is undoubtedly casting a wide net to pull in hundreds of lobbyists. The goal? You guessed it--limit B.P.'s liability. Last year BP spent $18 million on lobbyists. How much will it put into close House and Senate seats this November? Look out, because the Supreme Court said we cannot limit them! BP's first-quarter profit was more than $6 billion. Can we imagine BP pouring money into political races at the same pace as our oil is flowing into the Gulf--like Wisconsin's 7th CD where Obey has been for decades? Would it be worth a billion dollars to limit liability? Two billion? Do I hear three billion?
Maybe the dome will work. Let's hope, or if you prefer, pray, that it does but the most unsettling part of this drama is the realization that 1.) BP and Halliburton were totally unprepared for this disaster; 2.) All life in the Gulf could be gone for decades--or forever; 3.) The cost of oil will sky-rocket.
"The first thing that hit us, 18 miles from the Biloxi wetlands was the nauseating smell, like spilled gasoline at a gas station but stronger," said Jeremy Symons of the National Wildlife Federation. He went on, "We ran into a seemingly endless sea of brown heavy sludge floating on the water...it spread in front of us as far a we could see."
What will be the impact of the chemical disbursements now being dumped into the Gulf? BP doesn't know! "No previous government studies of the compound's sub sea ecological impact" have been conducted! Can you believe it? Why not spray DDT or Roundup--might work. Whoa Nelly! We are in trouble.
Obey: No one I know was prepared for Dave Obey's announcement. The chair of the House Appropriations Committee said, "No Mas! There is a time to stay and a time to go and this is my time to go." He said he is "bone tired."
No one has fought longer or harder than Dave Obey for our core values. Some people mention social and economic justice in speeches--Obey lives to move our society toward those goals. He has been a champion for Civil Rights, worker's rights, student rights. He fought for peace. He has earned the right to retire--I just wish he hadn't exercised that right. We need him in the chair. I will join Joy Cardin and guest Bob Williams on Wisconsin Public Radio Friday morning for "Week in Review." My guess--lots of Obey-decision discussion.
Whatever else happens, don't count Obey out of the fight. No fight "is private." A good man. Thanks David, for 50 years of dedicated service.
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We're just lucky the spill did not occur during hurricane season. Wait a minute! Hurricane season is less than a month away.
Humans and other primates have had a glorious history of trashing the environment. I remember reading somewhere that we humans are supposed to have intelligence but whatever smarts that would be seems to have stopped at the tip or our noses.
Imagine the engineering feat to be able to sink a drill a mile beneath the ocean surface and then go deeper to tap into an oil reservoir. Wow! How do they do it? I bet no one envisioned a spill, especially one of the magnitude we are seeing. Clever enough to probe the ocean's depths but not so clever as to have backup safety systems in place as well as an emergency contingency plan that would have prevented all this.
As soon as the explosion/fire broke out, an oil spill contingency plan should have been initiated just in case. Why wait for a valve to fail?
It is shameful that anyone in BP would even think of a cap on cleanup costs. It is equally shameful that congress would have legislated a cap.
The oil industry continues to reap billions in profit and they all of a sudden are worried about what it will cost them to clean up their mess?
Something smells wrong here and it's more than oil lapping our shores.
-Franz Fripplfrappl | Stoughton | May 6, 2010
The Toxic dispersents being sprayed on the surface of Gulf waters and pumped below are being used solely to keep large masses of oil from clumping together forming large visible oil slicks. Pictures of large oil slicks in the press would be to damaging to the offshore oil industry. The Oil is there just not as visible.
-Dol O'mite | Oconomowoc | May 6, 2010
A company that makes as much as BP can't form a contingency plan for an accident like this? Gimme a break! There should be no limits to their liability.
On Dave Obey... We are going to miss him.
He was good for Wisconsin, good for the soldiers, good for populists.
Here's hoping that someone will step up and try to carry on in Dave's tradition.
-J.P. the Populist | Bruce,WI | May 7, 2010