From The Washington Post:
BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg attempted an earnest apology Wednesday for the worst environmental accident ever to befall America, but it will be remembered for only two words:
Svanberg came with other BP executives to the White House, where he said President Obama made clear that he is “frustrated because he cares about the small people.”
“And we care about the small people,” added Svanberg, who is Swedish. “I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don’t care. But that is not the case indeed. We care about the small people.”
The “small people” took the remark very well and reacted accordingly.
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From the Los Angeles Times:
His voice breaking as he spoke of a brother lost in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, Christopher K. Jones pleaded with lawmakers Tuesday to change a 90-year-old law that limits corporate liability for the 11 lives claimed in the April oil rig disaster.
Jones, a Baton Rouge attorney, displayed photos of his 28-year-old brother, Gordon, including one of an unfinished backyard fort his sibling had been building with his 2-year-old son. Appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jones referred to BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward’s remark that he “would like [his] life back” and said, “Well, Mr. Hayward, I want my brother’s life back.”
But Tony (seen here in his office) couldn’t hear Mr. Jones.
(Tony’s Photo Gallery, l to r: Deadeye Dick Cheney, Diaper David Vitter, Haley Barbour of Incivility)
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From THINK PROGRESS :
On Fox News Sunday today, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) continued to aggressively downplay the massive BP oil gusher, explaining that tar balls washing up on his state’s beaches are “no big deal” because you can “pick them up and throw them in the bag.” And instead of attacking BP for causing the spill, he blamed the media for creating a “misperception” of crisis by daring to call attention to one of the worst environmental disasters in American history:
BARBOUR: Well, the truth is, Chris, we have had virtually no oil. … We have had a few tar balls but we have tar balls every year, as a natural product of the Gulf of Mexico. … So, tar balls are no big deal. In fact, I read that Pensacola or the Florida beaches when they have tar balls yesterday didn’t even close. They just sent people out to pick them up and throw them in the bag. The biggest, the biggest negative impact for us has been the news coverage. … The average viewer to this show thinks that the whole coast from Florida to Texas is ankle-deep in oil. … So it may be hard for the viewer to understand, but the worst thing for us has been how our tourist season has been hurt by the misperception of what is going on down here. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is beautiful. As I tell people, the coast is clear. Come on down!
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(Drill, Baby, Drill Dancers, l to r: Princess Sarah Palin, Liz She’s-Got-Her-Father’s-Smirk Cheney, Michele Batshit Bachmann)
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There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back.
—Tony Hayward, BP CEO, May 30, 2010
Here are developments in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest in U.S. history:
* After BP Plc (BP.L) said the complex “top kill” maneuver to plug its Gulf of Mexico oil well had failed on Saturday, it is moving to the next option — the lower marine riser package cap, which will capture oil from the well rather than plug it.
* Government scientists estimated that cutting the riser pipe coming out of the blowout preventer to prepare for the next containment option could result in a temporary oil flow increase of up to 20 percent.
* The huge oil slick from the gushing well could threaten the Mississippi and Alabama coasts this week, driven by moderate southerly and southwesterly winds, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
* The NOAA forecast was a sober reminder that oil from the unchecked spill, broken up and carried by winds and ocean currents, could threaten a vast area of the U.S. Gulf Coast, including Florida, as well as Cuba and Mexico.
* President Barack Obama met on Tuesday with the co-chairs of a commission he set up to investigate the spill, former Senator Bob Graham and former Environmental Protection Agency chief William Reilly. Obama vowed to overhaul U.S. laws and regulations governing offshore drilling to prevent a repeat of the catastrophe.
* Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department has launched a criminal and civil investigation into the spill and rig explosion that killed 11 workers. The FBI is taking part.
The hell with all those polite investigations. I want it to look more like this…
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(left to right: Tony I’m-Wearing-Rand-Paul’s-Hair Hayward, William No-I’m-Not-Bob-Newhart Reilly, Bob Graham, Eric Holder, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen)
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From the New York DAILY NEWS:
WASHINGTON – Kentucky GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul got slapped down yesterday over his remarks on civil rights – by his own party’s leaders.
“I believe … his philosophy is misplaced in these times,” Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, told “Fox News Sunday.”
“I don’t think it’s where the country is right now,” Steele said.
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From The New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Rand Paul, the newly nominated Republican candidate for Senate from Kentucky, touched off more controversy on Friday by calling the Obama administration “un-American” for taking a tough stance with BP over the company’s handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
A day after he was forced to explain remarks he had made suggesting he was not fully supportive of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, Mr. Paul set off yet another round of Twitter, cable television and e-mail chatter by lambasting President Obama and his aides for insisting that BP be held accountable — and pay — for the oil spill cleanup and damage.
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(In the frame, r to l: Lamar McKay, President and Chairman of BP American, Steven Newman, President and Chief Executive Officer Transocean Limited and Tim Probert, President Global Business Lines and Chief Health, Safety and Enviromental Officer Halliburton)
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From The Washington Post:
Three major oil industry executives agreed on one thing in a pair of Senate hearings Tuesday: Someone else was to blame for the drilling rig accident that triggered the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The senior executives from the oil behemoth BP, the offshore oil drilling company Transocean and the oilfield services contractor Halliburton pointed fingers at each other in seeking to explain what caused the accident that set afire and sank the Deepwater Horizon rig, killing 11 people.
BP blamed the failure of Transocean’s blowout preventer and raised a new question about whether Transocean disregarded “anomalous pressure test readings” just hours before the explosion. Transocean blamed decisions made by BP and cited possible flaws in the cementing job done by Halliburton. And Halliburton said that it had faithfully followed BP’s instructions and that Transocean had started replacing a heavy drilling mud with seawater before the well was sealed with a cement plug.
To the tune of If I Only Had a Brain, written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, as performed by the fabulous Ray Bolger:
I sit here, oh so coyly, don’t know why the gulf’s so oily,
But I’m here to proclaim,
That I couldn’t say for certain,
But I think that Halliburton,
Is the company to blame.
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