Thursday, June 17, 2010
"Smokey Joe" has said some pretty ridiculous things about energy in recent months. But at today's House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing on the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Barton took straight-faced comedy to a new level. According to The Hill:
A top Republican lawmaker apologized to BP on Thursday for what he said was a "shakedown" by the government of the oil company in forcing it to create a $20 billion fund to pay out damages resulting from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce, said that the relief fund that President Barack Obama had forced the company to create was, in essence, a "slush fund."
“It is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown, in this case a $20 billion dollar shakedown,” Barton said during opening remarks at a hearing today at which BP CEO Tony Hayward will testify.
Never mind that ExxonMobil never paid what it owed for the Valdez spill cleanup. Let's just trust BP! Because they've been so trustworthy and forthcoming so far, totally never denying that massive underwater oil plumes have formed in the Gulf of Mexico, and totally never misunderestimating the flow rate of the ongoing spill.
“I am ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday," Barton said, apologizing to the oil company.
Barton called the $20 billion account a "slush fund," and said he did not want to live in a country where private companies could be compelled by the government to create such accounts.
“It's unprecedented in our nation’s history, it has no legal standing, and it sets a terrible precedent for the future," he said.
Watch "Smokey Joe" apologize to BP here.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
While these companies hoped to distance themselves from rival BP and its shoddy contingency plan, it became clear that theirs were equally useless. In fact, they were shown to be near carbon copies, all written by the same firm.
One portion of these regional response plans – filed for drilling efforts in the Gulf of Mexico – listed “sea lions, seals, sea otters (and) walruses” as wildlife that could be affected in the event of a Gulf spill. How kind of big oil to look out for the cute and cuddly creatures of the world. Yet there's one, minor problem: those animals' don't even inhabit the Gulf of Mexico. Their ranges are confined to much, much colder climates; places like, you know, the Arctic.
Other particularly ridiculous facets of these plans:
- Exxon Mobil revealed its emergency response plan includes 40 pages on dealing with the media and only nine on dealing with an oil spill.
- Some of the plans direct media spokespeople never to make “promises that property, ecology or anything else will be restored to normal."
- Two of the companies also incorporated contact information for a Florida marine researcher who died in 2005.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
BP...lie lie liesGood luck competing with that, Tony!
Yeah so what, some birds die
Laugh, laugh to the bank
HA HA, an oil rig sank.