The Washington Post is reporting that in the entire 77 days since
oil started it's volcanic gush into the Gulf, convicted corporate
monopoly felon BP has skimmed or burned only around 60 percent of the
amount it said it could remove in a single day. The gap between what BP
promised in its March 24 filing with federal regulators and the amount
of oil recovered since the April 20 disaster has caused widespread
confusion about the extent of the spill and the progress of the
That confusion, of course, is exactly what BP wants. It's why
the company hasn't installed a simple device on the blowout preventer
pipe to measure how much oil is blowing out of the broken pipe. It's why
they're pouring millions of gallons of dispersants into the oil so it
will settle into lower layers of water, out of sight and out of mind,
instead of floating to the surface where it can be measured and removed.
They want all this because under the clean water act they have to pay a
fine of nearly $5000 per barrel of oil spilled, and if nobody knows how
much has poured out into the gulf, nobody will know how much to fine
Apparently the Obama Administration shares this concern, after the
President's talk with the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,
which is seeing its pension funds collapse along with BP's stock price.
And, of course, the more the reality of the oil spill can be hidden -
from keeping out reporters to pushing the oil underwater with
dispersants - note that the Air Force is today spraying dispersants on
the Gulf from the air - the less bad PR this administration will get.
The less this looks like a Katrina-like disaster, the less it will
politically harm President Obama.
Meanwhile, BP may be getting short on
cash as their debt has been downgraded by Fitch and one of the Libyan
princes is apparently among many eyeing the company as a possible
Everyone, from corporate felon BP to the Obama
administration seems more interested in hiding the oil and it's
political and financial damage, then is doing something about it, that's
is except "the little people"who live along the Gulf coast.
Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com
His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight
," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights
," "We The People
," "What Would Jefferson Do?
," "Screwed: The Undeclared War
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