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article imageOp-Ed: BP still in charge of oil spill, still shrouding it in secrecy

By Bill Lindner     Jun 14, 2010 in Politics
Today President Obama launched his fourth incursion to the Gulf to assess oil spill damages and reiterate his control of the situation, but the fact remains that BP is still in charge of the disaster and BP is still shrouding it in secrecy
President Obama claims to be in charge of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, but every attempt to use the power of his office is met by walls of resistance on BP's part. Mr. Obama could probably invoke the Pollution Control Act of 1990 (PDF) and use it to put BP's assets in temporary receivership to clean up BP's mess, but he hasn't and probably won't.
BP, the White House and the U.S. government have been in cover-up mode since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and the crude began gushing uncontrollably on April 20. BP is still in charge of cleaning up its mess that resulted due to Bush administration cronyism and BP is still doing all it can to keep their acts of negligence and the true magnitude of the disaster -- the oil leak will continue gushing because of well-bore damage below the ocean floor -- covered up and shrouded in secrecy, censoring the media and destroying evidence while the U.S. government idly sits by and does nothing about it. In fact, a hotline set up by BP to handle inquiries into its response to the oil spill was recently revealed to be nothing more than a diversion to keep people away from BP's upper management.
A report from Common Dreams reveals that BP still controls the response to the oil crisis, and things are out of control in the gulf. According to the report, making matters worse is the fact that BP is using Federal agencies to shield itself from public accountability.
In aiding BP's censorship of the media, the Federal Aviation Administration has declared the Gulf Coast spill zone a no-fly area, which includes parts of Louisiana and Alabama. Instead of stepping up efforts to contain the spill, BP is banning media from taking pictures of the oil on the beaches, and the vast expansion of oil slicks lapping at the coasts.
But, BP can't be everywhere at once and several of the news agencies are able to see some of the devastations first hand. There are reportedly pools of oil and oiled pelicans inside booms that are supposedly -- some of the boom was documented as being hung up in marsh grasses two feet above the water in places -- protecting the shores and the number of dead wildlife is growing.
Oil spill highlights Government's subservience to big business
BP isn't letting people collect the carcasses of dead birds, choosing instead to behead the dead birds in order to destroy evidence. Once the head is separated from the carcass, the birds can't be autopsied. By making the dead sea and wild life disappear, BP makes the damages done and their liability disappear -- in other words, BP is committing a crime. By not allowing aerial surveys, BP is covering up views of the approaching oil slicks and signs of carcasses that are piling up. As noted by Common Dreams, until the media is allowed unrestricted access to the Gulf and the impacted beach, BP -- not the President of the U.S. -- will remain in charge and it will be able to continue covering up crimes.
Clean up workers in the Gulf Coast hired by BP are being subjected to drug tests, immigration raids, and dangerous chemicals without any protection. BP is also trying to limit its liabilities, reportedly seeking a 'truce' with the White House since BP had a fake, government-approved, oil spill response plan. Under intense pressure from the U.S. government, BP miraculously found a 'quicker' solution to cleaning oil off the surface water in the Gulf of Mexico.
As with many other crises that wreak havoc on America's populations, the response to the Gulf Coast oil spill is an example of what the WSWS refers to as the tyranny of private ownership. Each passing day finds many in Washington trying to contain the financial dangers posed to BP and the oil industry because of the spill. Plans are already being made to limit BP's liabilities and the costs of the disaster could be pawned off on American taxpayers because the vast majority of politicians in Washington are on the oil industry's payroll.
As noted by WSWS, the whole experience of the oil spill highlights the degree to which the government -- from the White House, to Congress, to state and local governments -- is subservient to big business and incapable of taking any actions that pose a threat to its basic interests, and the response to the oil spill needs to be taken out of BP's and the Obama administration's hands.
Louisiana has paid a heavy price these past five years because of political malfeasance and two man-made disasters. It's only going to get worse before it gets better. Oil will probably be gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the blown well until at least sometime in August when a new relief well is finished. President Obama is visiting the Gulf Coast today and tomorrow to try and show that he is in charge of the disaster but until the crude deceptions, secrecy and negligence cover-ups stop, he may have a hard time proving that.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about British petroleum, Gulf of Mexico, President obama, Crude deceptions, Environmental crimes
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