Employees of the offshore drilling rig that exploded yesterday were in Houston protesting the moratorium on offshore drilling rigs, a moratorium instituted to ensure that offshore drilling rigs are safe and not prone to exploding.:
The NYT article directly below is a must read. The oil industry “is among the most heavily subsidized businesses,” according to the tax code. Yet the oil industry would have us believe that imposing an extra tax to pay for clean up — even with all the subsidies and profits — would transform our country into Thunderdome. And catch the videos below — there are allegations that BP has been dumping sand on the beaches to cover the oil.
When the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform set off the worst oil spill at sea in American history, it was flying the flag of the Marshall Islands. Registering there allowed the rig’s owner to significantly reduce its American taxes.
The owner, Transocean, moved its corporate headquarters from Houston to the Cayman Islands in 1999 and then to Switzerland in 2008, maneuvers that also helped it avoid taxes.
At the same time, BP was reaping sizable tax benefits from leasing the rig. According to a letter sent in June to the Senate Finance Committee, the company used a tax break for the oil industry to write off 70 percent of the rent for Deepwater Horizon — a deduction of more than $225,000 a day since the lease began.
With federal officials now considering a new tax on petroleum production to pay for the cleanup, the industry is fighting the measure, warning that it will lead to job losses and higher gasoline prices, as well as an increased dependence on foreign oil.
But an examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process. Continued…
BP admits failing to use industry risk test at any of its deepwater wells in the US
However, BP admitted to The Sunday Telegraph that it does not use safety cases on any of its US wells, including the high-pressure deep water Macondo well from which up to 60,000 barrels of oil per day are still leaking in the Gulf of Mexico.
It is now 75 days since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank, killing 11 men and triggering the catastrophic spill.
The US Government wants to make the safety case process a legal requirement for floating offshore drilling – one of five recommendations to change processes in the Gulf. More…
In another effort to repair its image, BP picks up tab for fireworks show in Colorado.
… The display typically costs $15,000 and city officials were poised to cancel it because of a budget crunch. But representatives of BP’s office in southwestern Colorado surprised the council by announcing the company would pick up the tab.Company spokesman Curtis Thomas says BP knows how important the celebration is to the community and didn’t want it to be lost. He says BP hasn’t asked for any advertising in exchange for its donation.
Many conservative leaders have jumped on the “shakedown” bandwagon, seeing BP’s $20 billion for an escrow fund as a real danger to the company’s viability. But if the company can pay for fireworks and baseball trophies while launching aggressive media campaigns and funding a front group to downplay the disaster, BP can cover its responsibility to the victims in the Gulf.
Has BP been dumping sand on the beaches in order to cover up oil? Via Allison Kilkenny: (Louisiana)
See more videos of Pensacola Beach here
The other day I posted this video about tar balls washing ashore on Destin Beach (near Pensacola Beach). You can’t see the tar balls anymore, thanks to the oil.
Fortunately, people aren’t out swimming on this beach – with or without Goo Gone (they were doing that on the Destin Beach in the first video).
Dear BP, I’m sorry my birds and turtles and dolphins and things got in the way of your oil. My bad.
Regarding Joe Barton’s apology to BP this week, this morning White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told Jake Tapper on ABC’s This Week:
“That is an approach — they see the aggrieved party here as BP, not the fishermen. Remember, this is not just one person. Rand Paul running for Senate in Kentucky. What did he say?
He said, the way BP was being treated was un-American. Other members of the Republican leadership have come to the defense of BP and attacked the administration for forcing them to set up an escrow account and fund it to the level of $20 billion. These aren’t political gaffes,” Emanuel continued.
“I think what Joe Barton did is remind the American people, in case they forgot, this is how Republicans would govern,” he said.
*BP 114 = 114 members of the Republican Study Committee opposed to the president’s $20-billion escrow fund for oil spill victims.
Tell Republicans “Stop Apologizing to Big Oil”
Buzzfeed: Mike Ellis is a boat captain who’s been rescuing the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles near Deepwater Horizon.
He’s got some pretty horrifying news to share: BP is burning turtles caught in the oil spill and turning away rescue workers who want to save them.
So-called burn boxes are torching oil from the water’s surface at the sacrifice of turtles, crabs, sea slugs and other sea life.
Michele Bachmann joins in:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Wednesday warned the Obama administration against using oil giant BP as a ‘permanent ATM card’ and more broadly alleged there are increasing federal efforts to “take over private industry.”…
Bachmann said on the CNN program “John King, USA” that BP must pay for damages, but added, “We don’t want these payouts to become political.”
“We don’t think it’s a good idea for the federal government to see private industry as essentially a piggy bank for the federal government,” she said.
Why would Barton apologize to BP?
NYDailyNews: Barton is also one of Big Oil’s biggest boosters and once touted off-shore drilling as so advanced it can function around the clock “without so much as losing a gum wrapper over the side of the platform.”
Before his election to Congress, Barton was an executive with ARCO, which was later acquired by BP.
He has taken $1.4 million in campaign contributions from the industry since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Barton apologizes for apologizing to BP for ‘Obama’s shakedown’
“I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House in my opening statement this morning, and I retract my apology to BP. As I told my colleagues yesterday and said again this morning, BP should bear the full financial responsibility for the accident on their lease in the Gulf of Mexico. BP should fully compensate those families and businesses that have been hurt by this accident. BP and the federal government need to stop the leak, clean up the damage, and take whatever steps necessary to prevent a similar accident in the future.
“I regret the impact that my statement this morning implied that BP should not pay for the consequences of their decisions and actions in this incident.”
You know the $20 billion dollar fund that BP agreed to finance, to pay for damages resulting from their oil disaster on the Gulf? Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) apologized to BP this morning, saying the fund was a “$20 billion shakedown.”
“I’m ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday,” said Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) during a hearing on Thursday morning with BP’s CEO Tony Hayward. “I think it is a tragedy in the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown — in this case a $20 billion shakedown — with the attorney general of the United States, who is legitimately conducting a criminal investigation and has every right to do so to protect the American people, participating in what amounts to a $20 billion slush fund that’s unprecedented in our nation’s history, which has no legal standing, which I think sets a terrible precedent for our nation’s future.”
“I’m only speaking for myself. I’m not speaking for anyone else, but I apologize,” Barton added. “I do not want to live in a county where anytime a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong, [it is] subject to some sort of political pressure that, again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown.”
…Several members of the GOP have rushed to distance themselves from Barton’s comments, with Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) actually calling for Barton to resign his committee post.
Isn’t it a funny coincidence that Barton used to work for Atlantic Richfield (ARCO), which is now owned by BP?
- WhoRunsGov.com: Career History — Rep. Joe Barton: U.S. Representative (since 1985); consultant, Atlantic Richfield Co. (1982-1984); White House Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy, (1981-1982)
Nate Silver finds that Anadarko Petroleum has given nearly $150,000 to Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-TX) – $56,500 in PAC donations and another $90,000 in individual contributions.
It turns out Anadarko is also BP’s partner on the site where the massive oil leak occurred, and according to Dow Jones, has already been invoiced by BP for its share of the clean up costs.