President Obama met Wednesday for the first time since the oil rig explosion in the Gulf, with BP’s top executives. Reports show that the meeting only lasted for about twenty minutes. Long enough for my favorite member of the Obama Administration, Pete Souza, to do his job and make it look like Obama was doing executive things. For those of you who don’t know, Pete Souza is the White House photographer and I have a suspicion that he may be one of those famous GOP plants due to all those damning photos he takes of his boss. But that’s a topic for another blog.
From the meeting today, Politico reports:
Carol Browner, Obama’s energy adviser, suggested the White House had no legal authority to force BP to pay lost wages. “There’s a very significant legal question about their liability,” Browner told reporters.
But BP executives appeared to get something out of their first meeting with the president.
Obama expressed confidence that the company is in sound financial condition – a question raised by a drop in its stock amid tough rhetoric – and he made a rare appeal for BP critics to heed its financial interest, for the good of the people along the Gulf.
“I’m absolutely confident BP will be able to meet its obligations to the Gulf Coast and to the American people. BP is a strong and viable company and it is in all of our interests that it remain so,” Obama said. “So what this is about is accountability.”
What makes Obama so confident that BP (Beyond Petroleum) will remain “strong” and “viable” enough to fulfill their obligations to the folks on the coast that are suffering?
Perhaps his number one priority since this crisis happened, passing climate legislation, has something to do with it. Like my friend Gary pointed out earlier, all of the actions of the administration lately smack of Kabuki theater. There is always more to the story and it usually makes my skin crawl.
Insert “more to the story” here….
An article from June 9th in the Washington Examiner has some rather interesting information about BP’s ties to the very legislation Obama has given priority over actually plugging “the damn hole” at this time (emphasis mine):
BP was a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a lobby dedicated to passing a cap-and-trade bill. As the nation’s largest producer of natural gas, BP saw many ways to profit from climate legislation, notably by persuading Congress to provide subsidies to coal-fired power plants that switched to gas.
In February, BP quit USCAP without giving much of a reason beyond saying the company could lobby more effectively on its own than in a coalition that is increasingly dominated by power companies. They made out particularly well in the House’s climate bill, while natural gas producers suffered.
But two months later, BP signed off on Kerry’s Senate climate bill, which was hardly a capitalist concoction. One provision BP explicitly backed, according to Congressional Quarterly and other media reports: a higher gas tax. The money would be earmarked for building more highways, thus inducing more driving and more gasoline consumption.
Elsewhere in the green arena, BP has lobbied for and profited from subsidies for biofuels and solar energy, two products that cannot break even without government support. Lobbying records show the company backing solar subsidies including federal funding for solar research. The U.S. Export-Import Bank, a federal agency, is currently financing a BP solar energy project in Argentina.
BP has more Democratic lobbyists than Republicans. It employs the Podesta Group, co-founded by John Podesta, Obama’s transition director and confidant. Other BP troops on K Street include Michael Berman, a former top aide to Vice President Walter Mondale; Steven Champlin, former executive director of the House Democratic Caucus; and Matthew LaRocco, who worked in Bill Clinton’s Interior Department and whose father was a Democratic congressman. Former Republican staffers, such as Reagan alumnus Ken Duberstein, also lobby for BP, but there’s no truth to Democratic portrayals of the oil company as
an arm of the GOP.
Something else I found out today of interest is that “well connected” Democrat Jamie Gorelick, who served as a Deputy Attorney General under Bill Clinton, and on the 9-11 Commission (with obvious conflicts of interest) is now ‘serving‘ BP as their attorney. It should also be noted that Gorelick was appointed Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae in 1997 and stayed in that role until 2003. My, what a small world we live in…
The Examiner piece ends with this:
Two patterns have emerged during Obama’s presidency: 1) Big business increasingly seeks profits through more government, and 2) Obama nonetheless paints opponents of his intervention as industry shills. BP is just the latest example of this tawdry sleight of hand.
Yes they are because all day I couldn’t help but think about Goldmann Sachs and what we witnessed a couple of weeks ago on Capitol Hill, in more Kabuki Theater.
There is a reason Glenn Beck did a show not too long ago called “Crime Inc.” on the topic of the Chicago Climate Exchange. The set-up from the powers that be with their organizations, funded by legislation is nothing short of criminal behavior. The Energy Bill, or whatever name they are calling it these days is still the same. It’s still a bill to “cap” energy consumption through regulation, increasing federal tentacles, and then tax the citizens and businesses in this nation to fund their corrupt carbon trading mechanism.
Once again I ask… Outside of Glenn Beck, FOX News, the internet, and Sarah Palin’s Facebook page, where is the media? We currently have the biggest environmental disaster this nation has ever seen unfolding, and with the President’s speech Tuesday night, he made clear what his priories are. Passing a bill that will enrich BP, not to mention Shell, and a whole host of oil companies (see USCAP) and break Americans backs financially, if not rob us of more of our freedoms. All in the name of the environment, while the Gulf of Mexico sits in ruin. You think there might be a story there, “Lamestream” press?