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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/9/10

The Gulf Spill Continues: Is Obama Powerless Against BP?

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Message shamus cooke

After BP successfully placed a cap to divert some of the spewing oil into tankers, thousands of gallons continue to flow daily into the gulf. August is slated as the earliest date that any permanent solution may emerge. BP remains totally in charge of potentially the largest environmental disaster in the earth's recorded history, a fact that proves -- in "check mate" fashion -- that corporations dominate the inner workings of the U.S. government, a truth previously revealed by the bank bailouts.

More than one gigantic eco-system may be destroyed by BP, and the President of the U.S. is sadly reduced to lecturing in "serious tones," with daily adjustments of tone based on the results of polling agencies.

When the polls reported that Obama wasn't taking the oil spill seriously enough, his next TV appearance depicted him as "outraged." Yet his continuing lack of action doesn't match his new, stronger emotions; nor does his inaction match the dire seriousness of the situation.

Indeed, Obama continues to allow BP to lie about the seriousness of the spill, even when numerous independent scientists disputed BP's estimates of the spillage. Of course Obama knew that BP had a profit incentive to lie, while Obama has his own incentive to allow the lie -- and continued lies -- of BP.

One reason Obama doesn't challenge BP is because he's on their payroll. The news agency Reuters explains: "During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records." (May 5, 2010).

In July, BP is set to give its shareholders multi-billion dollar dividends -- prompting more toothless anger from Obama -- while BP continues to maintain a healthy distance from taking complete accountability for the oil spill.

The results are sadly predictable: many of the effects of the spill will be permanent, while the cleanup and recovery will go on for years and decades, possibly costing the extinction of some species and the United States billions and maybe trillions of dollars in the long term.

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Shamus Cooke is a social service worker and activist living in Portland Oregon.
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