Here’s one of the funnier apologies:
Think Progress has the exclusive story on the shameless actions of this Big Oil front group:
The true story of the BP disaster is how private contractors, not the government, are handling the response. Of the 25,000 people responding to the greatest environmental catastrophe in the history of the nation, 21,000 are under contract to the foreign oil giant BP. This private army includes workers shipped in from California making $10 an hour to clean the beaches, ex-military public relations experts, and submarine robotics companies. There are no contractors working directly for the government. The Center for American Progress — like many other outside observers — recommends that the government take over operational control from BP, to resolve conflicts of interest between the foreign corporation’s shareholders and public health and safety.
BP has been notoriously secretive about the network of companies working to run practically every aspect of the Deepwater Horizon response, including claims processing, hazardous material cleanup, boom deployment, scientific monitoring, and call centers. BP has ignored the state of Louisiana’s request on May 7 for a list of contractors and subcontractors.
On June 3, the Wonk Room called the Unified Command number and talked with USCG officer Rachel Polish, who told me that BP would have to answer my questions. Later that day, a BP subcontractor contacted this reporter, but would only identify himself as “Les.” On June 4, the Wonk Room asked National Incident Commander Thad Allen in the daily briefing for a list of contractors, which he promised to address. USCG officer J. R. Hoeft followed up by email to say he would start working on it.
On Saturday, June 12, the Washington Post published a story on some of the contractors working on the clean up, noting that “BP has major contracts with two national companies to clean up any major spill at Deepwater Horizon: the nonprofit group Marine Spill Response Corp., based in Herndon, and National Response Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Seacor Holdings, based in Fort Lauderdale.” These organizations were established as joint ventures of the oil industry to follow the rules of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, passed in response to the Exxon Valdez incident.
On Wednesday June 16, Hoeft emailed the Wonk Room with a list of fourteen companies “that direct about 68 percent of the total contractors working the spill” — with only the company names. Follow-up calls with the Unified Command, including a contentious discussion with BP spokesman Toby Odone, did not provide more information. The Wonk Room has been unable to determine the identity of one of the contractors on the list, named only “ILES.”
Below is an overview of the other thirteen top contractors identified by Unified Command as working for BP on the disaster, as well as other major contractors now governing the Gulf Coast region: Read more
Conservatives embrace Barton, Biden angrily responds: It’s not a ‘shakedown’ to insist BP takes care of people who are ‘drowning’
It is laughable that Joe Barton (R-TX) has the nerve to accuse Obama or anybody of shaking down the oil industry. The Center for Responsive Politics reports on the real shakedown that occurs month after month from Big Oil’s friend on Capitol Hill:
Senate Democrats have cast doubt that President Barack Obama can achieve his intention of finding the votes to pass comprehensive climate legislation this year. To overcome a Republican filibuster, Obama needs to mobilize the entire Democratic caucus and find at least one Republican senator willing to cross the aisle on behalf of the nation. On June 2, Obama told Pittsburgh that “the only way the transition to clean energy will ultimately succeed” is “by finally putting a price on carbon pollution“:
The votes may not be there right now, but I intend to find them in the coming months. I will continue to make the case for a clean energy future wherever and whenever I can. I will work with anyone to get this done — and we will get it done.
Despite growing climate calamities during the hottest year ever recorded in modern history and the catastrophic destruction of the Gulf of Mexico from oil pollution, election-year politics, Republican obstruction, and the grip of fossil interests on Congress make Obama’s task of finding 60 votes to cap carbon pollution a great challenge. In fact, many Senate Democrats are openly doubting Obama’s pledge, even though experts agree such publicly popular legislation would create jobs, cut energy bills, grow the economy, strengthen national security, and protect the planet:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): “I’d support it, but I don’t see 60 votes for it.” [Politico, 6/17/10]
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO): “I don’t see 60 votes for a price on carbon right now.” [E&E News, 6/18/10]
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): “For a variety of reasons, with virtually no Republicans supporting us, it would mean that every Democrat has to step up to the plate. Do I think we have 60 votes to come up with strong global warming legislation? No. I think that’s a tragedy, but that’s the way it is.” [E&E News, 6/18/10]
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE): “There’s a better chance of having 60 votes with a straight energy bill.” [E&E News, 6/18/10]
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV): “What’s the point of doing anything without 60 votes?” [The Hill, 6/10/10]
These Democrats evidently believe the pronouncements of fossil-fueled Republicans like Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) over the President’s intentions. But some are willing to fight against hypocrisy and inaction. “No, we don’t have the 60 votes yet; I know that,” Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), the author of the American Power Act, said June 15. “But we’re close enough to be able to fight for it.”
Maybe Toles reads Climate Progress (see “The breakthrough technology illusion“).
Toles has been on fire lately. Here’s more, starting with today’s “rant“:
Energy and Global Warming News for June 18: Cutting AC energy use 50% to 90%; If the climate bill dies, does that cede the energy race to China?
Evaporative cooling plus drying with desiccants equals cool air for less cost.
Keeping air cool in homes and offices this summer will be expensive–about 5 percent of the energy used in the United States each year goes to running air conditioners. But researchers at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO, have come up with a new air-conditioner design that they say will dramatically increase efficiency and eliminate gases that contribute to global warming.
Guest blogger Tom Murray is Managing Director of Corporate Partnerships for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
Earlier this month, private equity leader Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts (KKR) and EDF announced the updated program results for the partnership that Environmental Defense Fund helped jumpstart in 2008 – The Green Portfolio Program – that harnesses environmental management and innovation to improve the financial and environmental performance of KKR’s portfolio companies. The results from the eight reporting portfolio companies- Accellent, Biomet, Dollar General, HCA, PRIMEDIA, Sealy Corp., SunGard and U.S. Foodservice – are impressive; combined, the companies have saved more than $160 million in operating costs and eliminated more than 345,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions, 1.2 million tons of waste and 8,500 tons of paper use.
ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson told Congress we must do everything possible to prevent offshore drilling disasters, because once they occur, there is not any way to stop the damage. By admitting the unavoidable risk of catastrophe, Tillerson exploded the myths “” promoted by the oil industry and right-wing supporters “” that offshore drilling is “environmentally safe,” and that the industry can handle these disasters when they occur. TP’s Brad Johnson has the story.