As the scale of the disaster caused by the explosion at an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana became more apparent last week, right-wing radio talker Rush Limbaugh unleashed a conspiracy theory suggesting that someone intentionally blew up the rig in order to “head off more oil drilling”:
LIMBAUGH: I want to get back to the timing of the blowing up, the explosion out there in the Gulf of Mexico of this oil rig….Now, lest we forget, ladies and gentlemen, the carbon tax bill, cap and trade that was scheduled to be announced on Earth Day. I remember that. And then it was postponed for a couple of days later after Earth Day, and then of course immigration has now moved in front of it. But this bill, the cap-and-trade bill, was strongly criticized by hardcore environmentalist wackos because it supposedly allowed more offshore drilling and nuclear plants, nuclear plant investment. So, since they’re sending SWAT teams down there, folks, since they’re sending SWAT teams to inspect the other rigs, what better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I’m just noting the timing here.
As part of their inquiry into the explosion, federal investigators are not ruling out any possible causes, including the possibility of criminal acts or negligence. But other than Limbaugh’s rant last week, oil spill truther theories initially appeared only on fringe websites. That is…until today.
On Fox and Friends this morning, former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino said she was “not trying to introduce a conspiracy theory” before asking, “But was this deliberate?” “If there was sabotage involved,” wondered Perino. Later in this show, host Steve Doocy asked Fox Business’ Eric Bolling to respond to people who have suggested that “there’s a possibility this could be sabotage.” Citing Perino, Bolling engaged in conspiracy speculation:
BOLLING: The question is, and I saw Dana Perino earlier on the show saying, you know, what, why the delay in the response. You guys were pointing out, nine days before it’s even addressed. Twelve days before he made a formal comment. The question is did they let this thing leak? I mean, I know BP said 1,000 barrels a day went to 5,000. Did they let it leak a little bit and say, “boy I don’t know.” I mean, the conspiracy theorists would say, maybe they let it leak for a while and then they address the issue.
Host Gretchen Carlson called Bolling’s speculation “a humongous accusation.” He agreed, adding, “but if they’re going to try to pull drilling, that may be the way to do it.” Watch it:
In Louisiana yesterday, President Obama said, “BP is responsible for this leak — BP will be paying the bill.” BP America Inc. President Lamar McKay blamed the disaster on “a failed piece of equipment” in an interview with ABC News yesterday, adding that they “don’t know why it failed yet.” The disaster occurred as Halliburton was cementing the underwater oil well.