Spinning The BP Catastrophe

According to Cassandra LaRussa writing on May 01, 2009 at CommonDreams.org British Petroleum (BP), like most of the oil industry, enjoys enormous lobbying strength and very close ties to the lawmakers who are responsible for regulating oil industry practices as a federal investigation looms over them in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon debacle in the Gulf of Mexico.

Cassandra pointed out in her article that:

During the 2008 election cycle, individuals and political action committees associated with BP — a Center for Responsive Politics’ “heavy hitter” — contributed half a million dollars to federal candidates. About 40 percent of these donations went to Democrats. The top recipient of BP-related donations during the 2008 cycle was President Barack Obama himself, who collected $71,000.

And make no mistake, a debacle it is, and one that makes all other industrial ‘accidents’ in history pale by comparison.

As Political Spin Examiner Maryann Tobin noted  back on March 31 after President Obama announced his plans to lift the longtime ban on offshore drilling:

The shores off America’s coast had been safe from oil drilling – until now. President Obama has announced plans to allow oil companies to drill in areas that were previously protected.

The newly opened oil fields will span from Delaware to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and parts of Alaska.

“In a reversal of a long-standing ban on most offshore drilling, President Barack Obama is allowing oil drilling off Virginia’s shorelines and considering it for a large chunk of the Atlantic seaboard,” according to the AP.

Environmental group, The Sierra Club, believes that more drilling will not stop US dependence on foreign oil. According to a statement to MSNBC, offshore drilling will only serve to end another boundary of protection for the environment.

The beneficiaries of offshore drilling will be the oil companies. Exxon Mobile and Chevron posted more than $50 million in profits last year.  After President Obama’s announcement this morning, oil stocks began to rise.

Lifting the ban on offshore drilling will erase a prohibition that has been in place for more than 20 years.