BP's Disturbingly Close Ties to Obama Administration
By Hans Bader
Columnist Tim Carney notes that BP, responsible for the massive oil spill, is “a close friend of big government whenever it serves the company’s bottom line.” It lobbied for President Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package, the “cap-and-trade” global-warming bills backed by Obama, and “the Wall Street bailout” that Obama voted for. “BP has more Democratic lobbyists than Republicans.” Obama is the biggest recipient of campaign cash from BP executives.
Obama’s global warming legislation expands ethanol subsidies, which cause famine, starvation, and food riots in poor countries by shrinking the food supply, and also result in deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution. Subsidies for biofuels like ethanol are a big source of corporate welfare: “BP has lobbied for and profited from subsidies for biofuels . . . that cannot break even without government support.”
Obama falsely claimed that the stimulus package was needed to prevent “irreversible decline,” but the Congressional Budget Office admitted that it would actually shrink the economy “in the long run.” Unemployment has skyrocketed past European levels, as big-spending countries have fared worse than thrifty ones. As the Examiner notes, “If his stimulus program was approved, Obama promised, unemployment would not go above 8 percent . . . The reality is that it passed 10.3 percent.” In 2008, Obama promised a “net spending cut,” but as soon as he was elected, he proposed massive spending increases.
Obama’s global warming legislation would also drive jobs overseas, since it would impose a costly cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme on American industry, while leaving foreign plants operated by multinational corporations unregulated. That’s one reason why many big companies with plants overseas are lobbying for the global-warming legislation, which would give them an advantage over competitors that make their products largely in America. The legislation would result in a tax increase for American consumers of up to $200 billion a year or $1,761 per household.
Unlike other oil companies, which have good records of safety and avoiding spills when it comes to oil drilling, BP has a bad record, earning it the label of “serial environmental criminal” from critics. The Obama administration granted BP a waiver of environmental regulations in April 2009, yet it blocked Louisiana from protecting its coastline against the oil spill by delaying rather than expediting regulatory approval of essential protective measures. It has also chose not to use what has been described as “the most effective method” of fighting the spill, a method successfully used in other oil spills. Democratic strategist James Carville called Obama’s handling of the oil spill “lackadaisical” and “unbelievable” in its “stupidity.”
Obama is now using BP’s oil spill to push the global-warming legislation that BP had lobbied for.