Evans Liberal Politics
June 12, 2010
Source: HUGE Federal Gulf Public Works Project Coming
Source: HUGE Federal Gulf Public Works Project Coming, Daily Kos, June 11, 2010, by Calchala, quoted verbatim:
Apparently, according to historian, Douglas Brinkley there is a huge federal gulf recovery act being planned by the Obama administration and by Congress that would be on the scale of Tennessee Valley Authority.
This would include redirecting the Mississippi River down towards the gulf but wouldn’t begin until after the well was fully capped and the relief well was drilled. h/t RLMiller
See A Tennessee Valley Authority for the Gulf Coast?, The Washington Independent via Crooks and Liars, June11, 2010, by Annie Lowrey:
BRINKLEY: There are three things…going on. One is close that well…capture as much oil as you can, keep the pressure on BP on the relief wells. Second is immediate cleanup. And I think more can be done by the Obama administration…But I think the big third piece is coming, when President Obama comes to Florida and Alabama and Mississippi, and that is holding BP responsible for the Natural Resource Damage Act, for the Oil Spill Response Act. And, by that, I mean BP is going to end up paying somewhere from $10 billion to $15 billion, maybe even $20 billion, because they’re going — one of the only ways to save the Louisiana wetlands is going to be — you know, the Mississippi River has been channelized for navigation.
Well, now the Mississippi River has to be redirected. It’s going to have to be flooded and sediment pumped into these marshlands to save it. I think the Obama administration…
Brinkley later suggests that this is the reason that Obama is not talking to BP head Tony Hayward.
BRINKLEY: Yes. Yes. It’s one of the reasons why the president is not talking to Tony Hayward. And they are going to come out with a large Gulf recovery act, because the oil and gas industry has been dredging. We have disappearing barrier islands. For 40 years down there, it’s abused the wetlands.
This is a turning point. There is an appetite on Capitol Hill for Gulf recovery act. The Mississippi River is going to have to be redirected into the marshlands. And BP and Transocean and other, you know, operations, Cameron, other companies are going to have to pay up to $10 billion and $15 billion for breaking national acts.
This project appears very similar to what was discussed by Center for American Progress, whose founder John Podesta was the Obama transition Chief. CAP: Oil Reform Agenda
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Here’s the plan:
These efforts are an important start, but an oil reform agenda must make additional progress. It could include the following measures, many of which the administration has the authority to adopt or have already been already introduced as separate bills in Congress.
- Eliminate the liability limit for offshore oil disasters—current law caps oil spill liability at $75 million
- Require BP to put $5 billion—its first quarter 2010 profits—into an escrow fund to ensure prompt payments for clean up and compensation
- Adopt the recommendations for offshore oil well safety in the Interior Department’s “Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf” report, including better back-up systems and more complete inspections
- Implement fuel economy and alternatively fueled vehicle measures that will produce a 7 million barrel per day reduction in oil use by 2030 with interim reductions, and empower the president to implement these measures to reach that goal
- Significantly reduce oil use from vehicles by establishing 40 mile per gallon fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks by 2020, and establish the first fuel economy standards for trucks
- Power trucks and buses with natural gas by enacting the NAT GAS Act
- Power cars with electricity by enacting the Electric Vehicle Deployment Act
- Eliminate taxpayer subsides that benefit big oil companies
- Invoke the Trade Expansion Act to levy a fee on imported oil, and use revenue from this fee to invest in public transit, high-speed rail, and infrastructure for electric and natural gas vehicles
This is a good start and would help people in the gulf get a good start on their lives. The redirecting of the Mississippi River would be essential.
UPDATE: NYT is confirming a Scientist has proposed this exact strategy and it is being discussed at the “highest levels”. This is a possible leak of the strategy. NYT: Scientist proposes unleashing Mississippi River on Gulf.
Donate to the National Resources Defense Council’s Gulf Coast Relief Fund:
"As the Gulf Coast oil spill continues to claim more victims, I want to help support frontline recovery efforts. I understand that every dollar I donate will go directly to the Gulf Coast Fund and other non-profit groups that are helping people, wildlife and fragile ecosystems recover from this disaster."
Click the pretty lady
See The Inside Story of How Obama Let the World’s Most Dangerous Oil Company Spiral out of Control, AlterNet, June 12, 2010, by Amy Goodman and Tim Dickinson, excerpt quoted verbatim:
June 12, 2010 | An extensive new investigation into the Obama administration’s handling of the BP oil spill disaster reveals that it was government mismanagement, delays and absence of oversight that allowed the crisis to spiral out of control. In the article “The Spill, the Scandal, and the President,” Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson writes, “Though George W. Bush paved the way for the catastrophe, it was Obama who gave BP the green light to drill.” Dickinson explores how Interior Secretary Ken Salazar kept in place the oil industry-friendly environmental guidelines that Bush had implemented and ultimately let BP, an oil company with the worst safety record, to get away with murder.
See Why the United States Still Can’t Get BP to Do What’s Necessary, Robert Reich.org, June 12, 2010, by Robert Reich, excerpt quoted verbatim:
Here’s what Coast Guard Rear Adm. James A. Watson wrote to BP’s chief operating officer on Friday:
“Recognizing the complexity of this challenge, every effort must be expended to speed up the process.” BP’s plans don’t “go far enough to mobilize redundant resources” in the event of an equipment failure or another problem. “BP must identify in the next 48 hours additional leak containment capacity that could be operationalized and expedited to avoid the continued discharge of oil.”
Translated: You’re dragging your heels and aren’t even using all the equipment you have, damn it. You better, or I’ll … I’ll … .
BP spokesman Jon Pack said the company received Watson’s letter and would respond to it as soon as possible.
Translated: Too bad. Have a nice weekend.
See Gulf Oil Spill: BP’s Poor Record So Far Dulls Hope For Future, The Huffington Post, June 11, 2010, by Dan Froomkin, excerpt quoted verbatim:
In the more than seven weeks since its deep-sea well exploded and began belching oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico, all BP has done is make the leak worse.
The “top kill” attempt that shot tons of mud down the well pipe in an attempt to plug it didn’t work — and may instead have scoured the pipe clean of blockage that was keeping some of the oil down. It could also have set the stage for a catastrophic structural failure.
Cutting off the snarled riser pipe in order to install a containment cap significantly increased the flow of oil and gas — possibly by more barrels per day than the cap is actually capturing.
And the more than 1.1 million gallons of dispersant that BP has applied to the leaking oil has simply spread it around, making it harder to see and collect (and assess damages for) — but has not made it any less harmful to the environment. Indeed, the dispersant itself is toxic and is likely killing essential oil-eating bacteria.
When it comes to BP’s efforts to protect and clean the shorelines, countless miles of containment booms have been deployed in ways that don’t do any good at all, while BP isn’t providing workers on land or sea with the appropriate protection against harmful chemicals.
Meanwhile, throughout the last 53 days, the company has been consistently secretive and/or misleading about essential information, including such basic things as the amount of oil and gas being released into the water and the precise steps being taken to try to fix it.
All of which tends to reduce confidence when BP says it can do something going forward, whether it’s put a tight cap over the leak in the near term, as the Coast Guard has ordered the company to do, or even plug it from below by digging relief wells sometime in the next few months, which the company has repeatedly stated it can accomplish.
Some scientists who have been following developments particularly closely are starting to worry that given BP’s track record thus far, even greater catastrophe lies ahead.
Recommended: UPDATE: Oil Spill Developments, Dallas News.com, June 12, 2010, from wire reports. A good update on most current developments in the Gulf oil spill saga.
See BP Gulf Oil Spill Cheat Sheet: A Timeline of Unfortunate Events, Tree Hugger.com, current through June 2, 2010, by Michael Graham Richard.
See Democrats Slam Boehner, GOP for Position on BP Oil Spill Liability, CBS News Political Hotsheet, June 11, 2010, by Stephanie Condon, excerpt quoted verbatim:
House Republican Leader John Boehner came under some scrutiny yesterday over whether he wants BP to pay for all the damage the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is causing. Boehner’s office clarified that he does indeed want the oil company to be on the hook for the disaster – as opposed to taxpayers — but Democrats are holding his feet to the fire on the issue as they move forward with legislation that would force BP to cover costs.
Currently under the law, BP is responsible for all of the clean up costs related to the spill that started when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20. In addition, the law requires BP to pay for $75 million in other damages — such as the spill’s economic or environmental impacts. Those costs are expected to far exceed that $75 million, however.
Democratic legislators in both the House and the Senate last month introduced legislation to raise the liability cap from $75 million to $10 billion and enact the rules retroactively to compel BP to pay for the damages related to this spill. Now, Democrats are saying they want to go even further and lift the liability cap completely.
“Why should there be a cap?” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said today, CBS News Capitol Hill Producer Jill Jackson reports. “BP is going to pay the bill. It’s going to pay the bill for the cleanup… there will be no taxpayer dollars that will not be repaid by British Petroleum… I’m for no cap.”
Meanwhile, Democrats are criticizing Boehner for supposedly suggesting that BP shouldn’t have to pay for all of the damages. Boehner was asked at a press conference yesterday whether he agrees with the Chamber of Commerce, which takes the position that the liability cap should not be lifted retroactively to make BP pay for damages.
“I think the people responsible in the oil spill — BP and the federal government — should take full responsibility for what’s happening there,” Boehner said.
Boehner’s office clarified to the Washington Post that he wants BP to pay for everything.
“No taxpayer money for cleanup or damages — period,” a spokesperson told the Post. “BP pays. If the current law doesn’t guarantee that, we are happy to work in a bipartisan way on reasonable new legislation.”
That isn’t stopping Democrats from blasting the Republican leader for his comments. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today launched the site BoehnerBPBailout.com. The site highlights the money “big oil” has contributed to Republicans, including more than $258,000 just to Boehner.
See Looking for Liability in BP’s Gulf Oil Spill, The New York Times Dealbook, June 12, 2010, by Peter J. Henning.
Contact your Representative and Senator by phone fax or email and demand that President Obama take over full control of the Gulf oil disaster relief efforts.
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Yours Truly, BP
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