Tag Archives: Obama Administration

BP Defied EPA On Use of Toxic Dispersants

Also, according to this article in the NY Times, it would appear — no surprise — that the US Coast Guard is a little too chummy with the British oil giant at the expense of the poor saps who pay their salaries. Gee, I wonder if our government could do something about that — like remove USCG Adm. Thad Allen as the Gulf disaster point man for the Obama administration.

Despite directive, BP used oil dispersant often, panel finds

EPA directed firm to stop using chemicals except in ‘rare cases’

by Matthew L. Wald
The New York Times
July 31, 2010

The Coast Guard approved dozens of requests by BP to spread hundreds of thousands of gallons of surface oil dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico despite the Environmental Protection Agencys directive on May 26 that they should be used only rarely, according to documents and correspondence analyzed by a Congressional subcommittee.

In some cases, the Coast Guard approved BPs requests even though the company did not set an upper limit on the amount of dispersant it planned to use.

The dispersants contributed to a toxic stew of chemicals, oil and gas, with impacts that are not well understood, Representative Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, the Democratic chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, wrote in a letter sent late Friday to Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who is leading the federal response to the oil spill.

In a conference call on Saturday morning, Admiral Allen and Lisa P. Jackson, the E.P.A. administrator, said they had worked together closely and had come very near to achieving the agencys goal of reducing dispersant amounts by 75 percent.

On May 26, the E.P.A. directed BP to stop using dispersants on the ocean surface, except in rare cases when there may have to be an exemption, and to limit use of the chemicals underwater.

But Mr. Markeys letter pointed to more than 74 exemption requests in 48 days, of which all but 10 were fully approved by the Coast Guard. In some cases, BP asked for permission after it had already applied the chemicals, the letter said. And in one case, the Coast Guard approved the use of a larger volume of dispersants than the company had applied for.

Read the rest of the article here.

Bill Black’s Top Ten Ways to Crack Down on Corporate Crime

Here are ten logical and necessary steps to warding off another financial crisis which I doubt the Obama Administration will attempt. They are apparently still in thrall to the idea of returning all the pieces on the board to where they were before the meltdown in the fall of 2008. That’s just not going to work, as Michael Moore, Matt Taibbi, and many others know; it will only precipitate another crisis since the ‘bulls’ on Wall Street and the ‘too big to fail’ banks continue to dabble in the same financial foolery and malfeasance they perpetrated that caused the last collapse.

Bill Blacks Top Ten Ways to Crack Down on Corporate Financial Crime
by Corporate Crime Reporter
March 10, 2010

Ninety-five percent of criminologists study blue collar crime.

Five percent study white collar crime.

Of the tiny minority who study white collar crime, ninety five percent focus on the individuals who rip off the corporation.

We are left with a small handful of criminologists think Edwin Sutherland, John Braithwaite, Gil Geis who have studied or are studying corporate crime.

That would be crime by the corporation.

Bill Black is one of the most prominent of those living corporate criminologists.

His specialty control fraud.

Control fraud is when the CEO of a company uses the corporation as a weapon to commit fraud.

Bill Black is a lawyer and former federal bank regulator.

Hes the author of the corporate crime classic The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry (University of Texas Press, 2005.)

Black says there are steps we can take as a society to control corporate crime in particular financial crime.

In an interview with Corporate Crime Reporter last week, Black laid out his top ten.

Number ten: Hire 1,000 FBI agents.

Pass legislation (HR 3995) introduced by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur that would fund the hiring of 1,000 FBI agents to investigate white collar crime.

Read more

Even the Mainstream Mediocracy Can’t Keep a Straight Face Anymore

This morning on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” a mildly amazing thing happened: The panel — consisting of the Usual Members of the Beltway Mediocracy, Pundit Division — laughed out loud at certifiable wingnut Laura Ingraham’s ludicrous contention that the Obama Administration was more passionate in their dislike of Fox News than terrorist jihadists.

Why is this mildly amazing? Well, in the past, Steph and his panel would commonly listen to this kind of rightie nitwittery with straight faces, and then quickly move on. Now, they are openly laughing at it — even George ‘Eff’ Will apparently chuckled, and G.S. himself scoffed “Come on” — which is a sign of just how far down the well to obscurity the right-wing media have fallen. Here’s the video clip, courtesy of Media Matters: