Energy & Environment

Energy & Environment

How far will Big Oil go for profits?

Disturbing news about just how far Big Oil will go for profits:

Think Progress’s Josh Dorner released an analysis of recent lobbying disclosure documents filed by the Big Oil companies that outlines the industry’s lobbying of Congress and the administration on the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act in order to protect and pad their already record-setting profits.

Coming on the heels of recent reports about BP’s alleged role in seeking the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the convicted bomber of Pan Am flight 103, in order to score more profits through oil concessions in Libya, this news is another startling example of how far Big Oil will go for profits — even if it means putting national security, indeed global security, at risk.

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Tight calendar for Congress

The Hill's A.B. Stoddard answers viewer questions about the possibility of Congress moving on energy and immigration measures.

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Dealing with the BP disaster

Yes, a congressman apologizing on camera to BP was obnoxious, and calling the White House meeting with BP executives a “shakedown” was provocative. One hundred forty-four Republicans in the House had called it a “Chicago-style shakedown.” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), every liberal’s demon mouth, called the $20 billion a “redistribution of wealth fund.” Even liberal New York Times columnist Frank Rich referred to it as a “down payment of blood money.” White House adviser and tactician Rahm Emanuel told an ABC Sunday talk show that the president “forced” BP to set up the fund, The Washington Post reports.

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BP: Too big to fail?

Maybe it's from all those years of driving on the wrong side of the road. It's hard to say.

What's certain is that BP continues to make every conceivable misstep in its handling of the Gulf oil spill. If Tuesday's concessions to the White House checked Americans' ill will ever so slightly, hostility toward the oil giant resumed in even higher gear after BP CEO Tony Hayward's dismal performance before a congressional subcommittee Thursday.

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Dumb comments aside, it was still a botched response

In retrospect, it seems a working blowout preventer was also required for defenders of the oil industry this week, as BP's Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg took to microphones in the White House driveway to pledge his concern for "the small people" and then the House GOP's leading man on energy issues called the $20 billion compensation fund a "tragedy" and offered a profound apology to BP. Taken together, the two sets of comments turned what was originally a bad week for the White House into a Democratic campaign commercial for the midterm elections and was as close to a "Saturday Night Live" skit as reality gets.

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Joe Barton’s oil slick

Much has been made of Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-Texas) unbelievable statement at the hearing yesterday. Apologizing to BP and calling the funds to help people in the Gulf a “shakedown,” Barton showed his true colors. After accepting over $1.4 million from oil interests, he showed how deep “in the tank” he really was!

I have to hand it to him — how much more loyal can you get? But, as they say, with friends like him, who needs enemies? Not only did BP have to wince, but it was the Republicans who realized the fix they were in yesterday. Unfortunately for them, it was a fix of their own making.

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All Republicans should apologize for the oil spill

If Republicans were still in control, they would favor a BP bailout for the oil spill, as the last Republican president created the bailout for the banks. And the Tea Party people should demand a Republican apology, or they are simply Republican hacks wearing Tea Party costumes.

Where President Obama went wrong on the oil spill was that he didn't move fast enough to reverse Republican policies. Where Obama went right was to realize that BP, not taxpayers, should pay for the oil spill.

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BP performance: Fund and games

The first order of business will be deciding what to call that $20 billion BP compensation fund. How about "a start”? As in, $20 billion doesn't begin to cover the liability for the careless disregard for anything but profit that caused such devastating losses in the Gulf of Mexico region, including the loss of life. It'll take more than any financial penalty to achieve a just result.

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Now what?

The president of the United States took to the airwaves last evening to once again put his marker down on how he views the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It seems every day that passes, the storyline surrounding the leak gets worse, not better. So I don’t blame the president for trying to manage this mess from the Oval Office. He really doesn’t have much of a choice.

I and many Americans could do without the usual blame finger pointing back to years ago and previous administrations, but hey, Rahm told the POTUS it’s a free swing, so he might as well take it, right?

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