Saturday, July 3, 2010

Keeping Up With the Jones Act: Day 75


A whale off the Gulf Coast in 2006, the aftermath of a far less serious oil spill.


There are so many things that are wrong in Anita Lee's July 2nd article in McClatchy that one hardly knows where to begin. The only thing it needs is a mention of Erik Prince's Blackwater Navy hustling its way to the Gulf Coast and sniffing around for more contracts.

And they'd probably get them, too, if Prince hadn't divested himself of his little mercenary armada. The people who aren't getting the contracts, however, are skimming boats and, instead of BP, the 1920 maritime law known as the Jones Act that prohibits all but US flagged vessels from entering federal waters is being blamed. And right wingers from Rush Limbaugh to Sarah Palin have been piling on President Barack Obama for not rescinding or issuing waivers on the 90 year-old law. But would that be necessary? Not so, says the US Coast Guard:
(USCG spokesman Captain) LaBrec said 24 foreign vessels, two of them skimming vessels, have operated around the catastrophe site, in federal waters with no need for Jones Act waivers. He also said (USCG Rear Admiral) Watson has the authority to approve operation of foreign-flagged vessels near shore, where the Jones Act comes into play because of the port restrictions.

USCG Admiral Thad Allen, the man tapped by the President to expedite the cleanup, promises speedy waivers to the Jones Act so that foreign vessels such as the kind offered by Fred D. McCallister can finally get involved in the cleanup.
Investment banker Fred D. McCallister of Dallas believes he has the answer. McCallister, vice president of Allegiance Capital Corp. in Dallas, has been trying since June 5 to offer a dozen Greek skimming vessels from a client for the cleanup.

He's been offering the services of a dozen ships owned by one of his clients for a month now and BP's said No? Why?
“By sinking and dispersing the oil, BP can amortize the cost of the cleanup over the next 15 years or so, as tar balls continue to roll up on the beaches, rather than dealing with the issue now by removing the oil from the water with the proper equipment,” McCallister testified earlier this week before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. “As a financial adviser, I understand financial engineering and BP’s desire to stretch out its costs of remediating the oil spill in the Gulf. By managing the cleanup over a period of many years, BP is able to minimize the financial damage as opposed to a huge expenditure in a period of a few years.”

So there you have it. BP, as usual, has been trying to lowball the people of the Gulf Coast and everyone else for the cost of this cleanup. It's a lot cheaper for them to deal with the oil spill after it reaches shore than to cap the well and capture the 100,000,000 gallons that have spilled out since the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20th.


Dealing with the oil spill, by the way, involves little more than simply burying the oil under the sand. In fact, even this lackadasical effort in recovering the oil already spilled still seems to be the top priority when it ought to be, instead, capped the gushing wellhead.

In a way, the nearly unprecedented nature of the spill, beginning a mile underwater so that ice crystals keep the vast majority of the spewed oil submerged, had actually aided BP in its absurd estimates that were relayed back to the USCG and the Obama administration that had no choice but to make BP their go-to guys for news on the spill. In the first days after the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank, BP tried to make us believe that no oil had spilled. Then it was a 1000 barrels a day, then it was 5000 barrels a day until finally they had to come clean and start talking 6 figures a day.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the Obama administration seems to be prizing BP's right to privacy more than the Gulf residents' right to make a living and to live healthily. The Coast Guard, in the past 24 hours, as issued a media blackout, ordering the press not to get within 60 feet of an oil boom. As Politicol News asks,
What ever happened to that macho talk of “who’s (sic) ass to kick” in front of the television cameras? Gone. It was all talk and no action. If BP can control the media coverage of its own oil spill, what is next? A ban on protesting such as what happened during the G20 in Canada?

The media cannot venture to within 60 feed of any oil boom, oil skimmer, boats, or any of BP’s operation and have been warned under penalty of fines, and imprisonment to stay away from BP’s efforts. It appears they wish to bury the problem and the media will not be able to record the coverup.

Obama has disgraced his position and has become a weak and useless President, turning itno (sic) BP’s lap dog in the eyes of the world -he takes orders from British Petroleum and that is a clear and dangerous fact.

The President cannot be faulted for not jumping on the problem immediately. Within hours after the Deepwater Horizon exploded and eventually sank, the Chief Executive was already talking face to face with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and experts on what was facing the Gulf Coast. There is no need for Obama to rescind or issue waivers for the Jones Act because the Coast Guard can issue waivers at its discretion.

Where many of us fault Obama is for him continuing to allow BP to take point in this crisis when:

  • Their CEO whined about wanting his life back and then, like some stereotype of a corporate executive, went yachting in England.

  • BP actually told Gulf coast citizen activist Kindra Arnesen about their fake cleanup efforts that were affectionately known throughout BP as "balloons and ponies", which apparently is what "BP" actually stands for.

  • BP, under cover of night like so many Burke and Hares, is collecting the bodies of animals and even decapitating them so they can't be seen or examined (the fines for indigenous animals killed by the spill alone will run in the millions).

  • BP is burning rare sea turtles alive while burning off surface oil.

  • BP has been chasing off news boats and even animal rescue ships as if they own the Gulf Coast.

  • BP has hired literally tons of lawyers and lobbyists to minimize the lawsuit settlements that will surely drag on for over a decade and to prevent Capitol Hill from enacting tougher regulatory controls of the petroleum industry even though virtually no regulation on the part of the Mineral Management Service and the Interior Dept. in general is primarily to blame for this disaster.

  • Their 2009 oil spill plan contained non-working or wrong numbers to relief agencies, listed experts who have been dead for five years, listed wildlife that isn't indigenous to the Gulf coast and even gave the phone number to a Japanese home shopping network.

  • BP's best suggestion for stopping the massive leakage is drilling a relief well, which won't be ready until late next month, when tourist and some fishing seasons will be over, at a time when hurricane season gets into full swing.

  • BP and Transocean sequestered about a dozen survivors of the explosion hours after the accident and didn't allow these men to see their families or lawyers until they signed non-disclosure waivers.


  • It bears repeating that the Obama administration is the second consecutive administration that has let down the Gulf coast in general and Louisiana in particular. The fact that the body count stands at a "mere" 11 should not in any way mitigate the scope of this disaster. After Katrina, New Orleans was pumped out after two and a half weeks. It will take over a decade for the oil to be pumped out of the Gulf of Mexico and, unless it becomes a permanent part of the landscape, which seems to be BP's solution by burying it, over a decade to remove it from the land mass.

    But now as then, New Orleans is at the mercy of sociopathic corporations who have plainly made their allegiance and priorities known: To their shareholders, pension holders and their profits. And it's notable that the Obama administration is seconding those allegiances every moment it continues to allow the almost comical BP to take point in this greatest of all ecological disasters.

    1 Comments:

    At July 3, 2010 at 10:20 PM, Blogger Jill said...

    The tragic part is that the people who are the most affected by this will still continue to vote for Republicans. Not that the Democrats are significantly better, but let's face it -- the people of Louisiana have voted for Republicans for years under the delusion that if they just work hard enough, they'll be invited into the Rich Guys Club. Add abortion and gay marriage to the mix and you have a foul, toxic stew of self-defeating bullshit.

     

    Post a Comment

    Links to this post:

    Create a Link

    << Home

    All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #104: Make Racism Great Again Also Labor Day edition
  • #103: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilet edition
  • #102: Orange is the New Fat edition
  • #101: Electoral College Dropouts edition
  • #100: Centennial of Silliness edition
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Top 10 Things Donald Trump Said to President Obama
  • Paul Ryan's Top Ten Conditions on Running for the Speakership
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Mitt Romney Won't Run for President in 2016
  • Top 10 Results of the NYPD's Work Slowdown
  • Top 10 Secret Service Security Breaches
  • Top 10 LA Radio Shows That Are Rated Higher Than Rush Limbaugh's
  • Top 10 Reasons Operation American Spring Went Flat
  • Top Ten Facts of the MH370 Air Disaster
  • Top 10 Tips for GOP Congressmen Running Against Women
  • Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers
  • Top 10 Diversions John McCain Found During Syria Hearing
  • Top 10 George Zimmerman Excuses for Speeding.
  • Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network
  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
  • Top 10 Reasons For the Pope's Resignation
  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
  • Top 10 Lies Told by Mitt Romney at the 2nd Debate.
  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
  • Mitt Romney's Top 10 Wild & Crazy Moments.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
  • Top 10 Reasons Herman Cain Suspended His Campaign.
  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
  • Top Ten Ways Americans Will Observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
  • Top Ten Advances in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.
  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
  • Top Ten Suggestions From the Cat Food Commission.
  • Top Ten Worst Moments in George W. Bush's Presidency.
  • Top Ten Facts in George W. Bush's Memoir.
  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
  • Top 10 Causes for Dick Cheney's Congestive Heart Failure
  • Top Ten Ways That Jan Brewer Will Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Top Ten Demands in Sarah Palin's Contract
  • Top Ten Whoppers in Karl Rove's New Book
  • Top 10 Items Left Behind in Rush Limbaugh's Apartment
  • Top Ten Things Barack Obama said to Rush Limbaugh in the Hospital
  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
  • Top 10 Bush Executive Orders Labor Wants President Obama to Repeal
  • George W. Bush's Top Ten Lesser Achievements
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Christwire.org: Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Newshounds.
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Salon.com.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find Articles.com, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • Dictionary.com.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • anysoldier.com
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
  • Powered by Blogger