Author and activist Naomi Klein has been visiting Louisiana, and conducted a short on camera interview with Al Jazeera about her impressions of the disaster response to BP’s oil leak catastrophe…
Senator Dick Durbin once described Capitol Hill as being owned by the banks. He said the banks ‘own this place’ describing why it was so hard to get financial reform through in Washington, and all I can say from having spent the week here in Louisiana is that it really feels like the oil and gas industry owns this place.
I think we’re dealing with two factors here. One is an election strategy for the Obama Administration, they want to keep some distance, they don’t want to own the disaster fully, they want to still have somebody to point fingers to. But then there’s also just this major attitude in this administration from day one really, to trust industry.
And so, even when the industry creates the disaster – I’m sorry to make these analogies with the financial sector, but we saw it with the banks as well – they melted down the economy but then we still heard from the Obama Administration as well as the Bush Administration starting with them but carried through from the Obama Administration, ‘we’re not going to tell the banks how to do their jobs, they’re the experts, we’re going to stand back’.
And now they’re doing the same thing with the response to the greatest, what looks like the greatest environmental catastrophe, or what could very well prove to be he greatest environmental catastrophe this country has ever seen. And I think people are very confused by this because this is clearly a national emergency, so why is it that BP is in charge of the whole operation?