Following BP’s oil disaster, Republican lawmakers lined up to attack President Obama’s response to the spill, particularly efforts to rein in dangerous oil drilling and to create an escrow account to help expedite payments for BP’s victims. After a wave of Republicans attacked the escrow account as a “shakedown,” Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) went as far as formally apologizing to BP executives for how the Obama administration had treated them.
However, after rushing to the defense of a criminal multinational corporation like BP, now GOP lawmakers are ginning up conspiracy theories that Obama actually wants the oil disaster to be destructive. At a town hall yesterday in Athens, Georgia, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) said “maybe” Obama is “purposeful[ly]” giving a “poor response to this oil spill” so he “could promote his energy tax”:
BROUN: Our President he is utilizing this crisis of this oil spill to try to promote this energy tax. And I’ve had numerous people, all over the district, question whether his poor response to this oil spill was purposeful so that he could promote his energy tax. I don’t know, maybe.
Despite the absurdity of Broun’s comments, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) managed to concoct a far crazier conspiracy theory with radio host Alex Jones during an interview on July 1st.
Jones floated the idea that BP had planned the spill by giving “orders they knew would cause a problem,” BP “funded the carbon tax,” that BP actually wants the U.S. government to nationalize their assets, and the entire clean energy bill is a secret plot to establish a global government. He also noted that the Obama administration wants the spill to worsen to provoke “forced evacuations.” Paul did not dispute any of Jones’ ideas. Rather, he confirmed that he also is “very suspicious of BP and our government and even the Obama administration.” The Texas congressman then said Jones “forgot” that Obama used “executive orders” to dictate policy, giving the example of the escrow account, and that because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drained necessary National Guard troops that could have been used in the Gulf. Listen here:
Of course, literally nothing either Jones or Paul said was true or is substantiated by evidence. Obama negotiated the $20 billion escrow account; he did not create it by executive order, as Paul contends. Also, Obama has deployed thousands of National Guard reserves — however in many cases, they are not being used because Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) and others have not formulated plans to put them to work.
ALEX JONES: Let’s talk about the oil spill. Again just to preface this, BP gave orders they knew would cause a problem, turns out 2 months before it was leaking. BP is one of the biggest contributors to Obama, they funded the carbon tax, they’ve got a global governance office with a vice president over it. They’ve always wanted to nationalize oil so they get an inside deal. I’m very suspicious of how this has been handled. We’re 70 plus days in, Obama has blocked a Taiwanese ship they can get, half a million gallons they scooped up, they blocked over 30 other mega-ships. Now, the huricannes are coming in, he’s saying he may let them come in. Once that oil gets blown in, they’re going to have a major disaster. The Washington Post is discussing forced evacuations. Obama’s answer is give me the carbon tax. Rahm Emmanuel said don’t let a good crisis go to waste. I don’t see this as Obama vs BP as the mainstream media has phrased it — really this is Obama working with BP to try to get his carbon tax. Congressman, this is out in international water, why don’t we have the salvagers to begin with? How can Obama tell people 50 miles out in the Gulf what to do?
RON PAUL: Well you forgot he can write executives orders and do anything they want. So, it is a real mess. If a state needs some manpower, generally they don’t have manpower that might be able to help out and that maybe be their National Guard unit, they’re out in Afghanistan and Iraq. […] But yes, I’m very suspicious of BP and our government is doing and even the Obama administration, and that’s why I’ve challenged the principle, this agreement they have to set up this fund, this 20 billion dollar fund. That sounds like a lot of money but I think it could be a lot of mischief, and that was done by executive order.