Oily Politics of Influence: 3 of 4 oil and gas lobbyists used to work for US govt

Is this why there is no independent assessment of the BP oil well cap and surrounding sea floor?

Three of every four oil and gas lobbyists worked for federal government that’s probably why oil spill liability was capped at a ridiculous $50 million – an amount that wouldn’t cover the cost of a couple of oil spill skimmers.

From the Washington Post:

Three out of every four lobbyists who represent oil and gas companies previously worked in the federal government, a proportion that far exceeds the usual revolving-door standards on Capitol Hill, a Washington Post analysis shows.

Key lobbying hires include 18 former members of Congress and dozens of former presidential appointees. For other senior management positions, the industry employs two former directors of the Minerals Management Service, the since-renamed agency that regulates the industry, and several top officials from the Bush White House. Federal inspectors once assigned to monitor oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico have landed jobs with the companies they regulated.

Surprise, surprise BP threw even more money — +$1.7 million April to June –– at its lobbyists. And it works. Money unfortunately does buy influence in DC otherwise why aren’t US govt and/or independent science submersibles on the scene of the spill to verify BPs claims??

How could any level of government take the word a polluter that everything is cleaned up without bothering to CHECK to see if it is?

Even worse in my opinion: Why isn’t the media screaming for independent assessment of the leaking well head and surrounding area? (Twenty years ago they would have.)

My original related articles:

Why the BP Oil Spill Really Happened

New $Billion Cash Hand Out To Fossil Fuel Companies Under ‘Green’ Economic Stimulus Plans

‘Bailout’ for Oil Companies $20-40 Billion (and maybe more) every year

Why the BP Oil Spill Really Happened

We Can Live Without Oil

“It was a disaster that was going to happen, but business and government simply pretended it was not going to happen.”

[Update: Why the BP spill cannot be cleaned up]

By Stephen Leahy*

UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 10, 2010 (Tierramérica)

The policies and deals that contributed to the massive oil spill under way in the Gulf of Mexico are also jeopardising the Earth’s vital biological infrastructure, according to the Global Biodiversity Outlook 3, published Monday.

The British Petroleum oil spill of 5,000 barrels a day in the Gulf of Mexico, which began Apr. 20 when an explosion caused a rupture at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, will have devastating consequences for marine life and coastal ecosystems for decades, experts say.

Similar business and policy decisions, multiplied thousands times over the last hundred years, have put the biological infrastructure that supports life in jeopardy, according to the Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 (GBO3) report, issued May 10 by the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The report is the most current assessment of the state of the planet’s biodiversity, the living organisms that provide us with health, wealth, food, fuel and other vital services.

In this study, “you can clearly see the outlines of what could be the sixth great extinction event of all life on Earth,” said Thomas Lovejoy, biodiversity chair at the Washington DC-based Heinz Centre for Science, Economics and the Environment, and chief biodiversity adviser to the president of the World Bank. Continue reading

New $Billion Cash Hand Out To Fossil Fuel Companies Under ‘Green’ Economic Stimulus Plans

Shell in Curacao, Netherlands - Humane Care Fondation, Curacao[Updated: Monday Sept 28/09

Last Friday at the G20 countries agreed to phase out subsidies for oil and other carbon dioxide-spewing fossil fuels in the “medium term” as part of efforts to combat global warming. This article documents NEW taxpayer subsidies to some of the world’s richest corporations]


By Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 29 2009 (IPS)

Despite the economic slow down, growing numbers of world leaders are calling for urgent action on climate change while many governments used their economic stimulus packages to increase subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

Consider Europe, with the strongest public commitment to reduce carbon emissions that are causing climate change.

In the past five years, 8 billion U.S. dollars of public money went to Europe’s fossil fuel companies mainly to the natural gas sector. And in May the European Parliament approved an additional 3.35 billion dollars in subsides as part of Europe’s 225 billion dollars economic recovery plan, according to a new research report by Friends of the Earth Europe.

“We Europeans are supposedly leading the world on the path to a new green economy but we’re putting billions of euros into fossil fuel sector that’s taking us in the opposite direction,” Darek Urbaniak of Friends of the Earth Europe.

gulf spill nears coast Apr 30 2010 - ESA

Its complete hypocrisy,” Urbaniak told IPS from Brussels.

Perhaps recognising this fact, global business leaders at the World Business Summit on Climate Change that concluded May 26 called on governments to “strive to end the current perverse subsidies that favour high-emissions transport and energy”.
Continue reading