The BP massive assault upon our country has taken an added casualty: The truth. Huffington Post has dispelled ten myths about the disaster. I won’t repeat the fallacies. Instead, here are the facts:
1. President Obama did not ban all drilling or even all deep water drilling. Those who claim he shut down some existing rigs are wrong. He placed a hold on new deep water permits. (I believe even Rachel was wrong when she said he only shut down 33 existing wells in the gulf. The wells in question didn’t’ exist yet and weren’t permitted yet. Rachel did correctly distinguish between drilling and production phases, however.)
2. BP does not own all the BP gas stations many are boycotting. They are independently owned. They pay BP a licensing fee and may, or may not, actually sell BP oil. BP dis-invested in its retail operations in 2007.
3. Gulf oil won’t make our country independent of foreign oil. (Pssst BP is a foreign oil company.)
4. BP’s safety shortcomings are not unique. The entire industry photo-shopped the same emergency plans. Short-cuts and slighted safety at BP are not unique.
5. The result of the disaster hasn’t led to a strong energy and climate bill. Reform is stalled in the Senate.
6. We do not know how much oil is gushing. All we have are some estimates.
7. The Gulf is not uniquely sensitive to such disasters. Other offshore ecosystems are similarly vulnerable, or more so. The Arctic would be especially so since the icy waters wouldn’t break down oil as well as other waters (without dispersant).
8. Individuals can help. See slide 8 in the HP story here.
9. On-shore drilling is no safer. (See the movie Crude about Amazon region drilling by Chevron).
10. Republicans are not the only ones in the pockets of big oil. tHuffington Post cites Friends of the Earth who found the biggest recipients were:
John McCain (R-AZ) – $36,649 from BP; $2.43 million total
Mary Landrieu (D-LA) – $16,200 from BP; $329,100 total
Mark Begich (D-AK) – $8,550 from BP; $85,958 total
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) – $8,500 from BP; 223,326 total
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – $8,500 from BP; 408,400 total
John Culberson (R-TX) – $10,200 from BP; 187,350 total
Ron Paul (R-TX) – $7,300 from BP; 134,132 total
Charles Rangel (D-NY) – $6,500 from BP; 40,600 total
Steny Hoyer (D-MD) – $6,000 from BP; 91,800 total
Don Young (R-AK) – $5,500 from BP; $45,500 total
Pretty discouraging, huh? And the recent US Supreme Court decision freeing corporations to donate directly to campaigns significantly compounds the problem. BTW, note John McCain’s numbers! One thing is clear, however, it is primarily Democrats who are making an effort to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, arrest (and improve) climate change and develop new energy technologies. The GOP just says no.