Posts Tagged ‘BP’

Rush Limbaugh says BP Oil Spill a “Non-story”

In Economics, History on December 21, 2011 at 19:19

Dead birds, no big deal from griffyclan007.wordpress.com

On Rush Limbaugh’s show of December 19th, he stated that the BP Oil spill, the AP top story of 2010, “Ended up being a non-story”, and that few people remember it. We could spend years refuting all the misinformation and outright lies Mr. Limbaugh spews on his show, but I thought this a good opportunity to remember one of the worst man-made ecological disasters in U.S. history.

What Rush says about the BP/Deep Water Horizon story shows his contempt for reality. The importance of a story politically and historically often has little to do with how its remembered. Second, one of the reasons it is not remembered is that news outlets such as Fox, Clear Channel, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and the even the supposedly “liberal” counterpoint to Fox News, MSNBC, have done little reporting on this story since the BP/Deep Water Horizon Oil spill of 2010 stopped gushing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The BP media blackout during the disaster also reduced its coverage.

Limbaugh infers that if we don’t remember a story, it’s not important. How many people under the age of thirty can tell you about Watergate or the Cuban Missile Crisis? If we don’t remember, than it’s not important, right? I am sure few Americans can tell you about the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Turks, but does that mean it’s not important?  The Turks killed 1.5 million Armenians in a country the size of Maryland in 1915-16, but because we don’t remember it, it’s a “non-story” according to Rush. And what about the cracking of secret German codes in WWII that hastened the end of the war?   I guess that was a non-story too. Using Rush’s criteria, if he doesn’t report on it, it doesn’t matter.

Furthermore, it is the mass media that influences to a large extent what stories we remember and discuss. You might recall that only three short months ago, Occupy Wall Street began. For the first few weeks, there was nothing in the front sections of the New York Times about the occupation. Thus, the movement didn’t exist. Now, phrases like “occupy” and “99%” are part of our national discourse. You can bet if the movement disappeared tomorrow, our collective amnesia would set in and people like Rush will say, “The Occupy Movement was a non-story.”

BP and their executives tried to enforce a media blackout on the Deep Water Horizon spill. “In fact BP has hired security guards and someone has even instructed the military to prevent media access to the workers and oil spill cleanup operations.” They wanted to block the beaches and protect them from dangerous cameras that would film the tragedy and interfere with their media spin campaign about BP being good corporate citizens. They also prevented clean up workers from talking to the media. They denied this interference despite damning evidence from a local news outlet. The airspace above the oil spill was also shut off to traffic and media outlets.

First, BP said they were keeping the public away from the beach for safety reasons. However, they weren’t willing pay for the acoustic switch, a remote shut off valve that would have cost only $500,000. It would cost $560 million to replace the Deep Water Horizon oil rig. So much for public safety. Later, after keeping people off the beaches because they were oh so concerned about safety, they said they were closing off the area due to vandalism.

So, if this was a non-story, it’s because of censorship and the news cycle that won’t report things such as shut off valves, corporate culpability, and the need for regulation. Corporations own the mass media and a larger and larger portion of the Internet, and they don’t want to air their dirty laundry. Thus, they have mouthpieces like Mr. Limbaugh diminish ecological disasters and the economic catastrophe caused by the BP oil spill. This discourse fits right into the mind set of Limbaugh’s audience that small government is good government and liberals and environmentalists want to attack hard working oil companies like BP.

So let’s remember the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster of 2010. On April 20, 2010, the Deep Water Horizon Oil Rig exploded and spewed an estimated 200 millions gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Thousands of marine animals died and the economy of the gulf coast was in ruins. The well wasn’t capped and controlled until September, 2010. BP estimates the likely cost of its Gulf of Mexico oil spill to be $40bn. That’s a 80,000 times more costly than the $500,000 acoustic switch that BP failed to install. But when you put profit above the environment or the livelihood of people, and you can write off such losses on your taxes, what’s the big deal. As Rush would say, it’s a “non-story.”

What Rush and the corporate elite don’t want us to know is that it was operational short cuts taken by BP and Halliburton that lead to the oil disaster. Rush and the CEO of BP will never admit that not only were the regulations that could have prevented the disaster not followed, more regulation for deep water drilling rigs like the Deep Water Horizon is the only way to reduce the potential for future Gulf oil spill disasters.

And what is also lost in the conversation is that more offshore oil drilling in the United States won’t affect the cost of gas to the consumer. More drilling could damage our oceans for hundreds and thousand of years if we have more BP sized spills in the future. However, the mainstream media and Congress don’t want to upset their corporate benefactors, so policies that could prevent future oil disasters and lead to larger investment in sustainable energy are not part of the discussion.

By calling it a non-story, Rush encourages millions of his listeners to ignore the dangers of our energy policy because as Mr. Limbaugh wants you to believe, it doesn’t matter.

Tex Shelters

Liberal Government Regulations are a Parasitic Ponzi Scheme

In Economics, Humor on September 2, 2011 at 21:32

Cartoon from edubass.com

Regulations are ruining the entrepreneurial spirit in America. How do I know this is true? Well, I just told you. And I am sure that the heads of the Forbes 500 would agree that if we just got rid of regulations, we would start hiring people yesterday.

Regulations get in the way of freedom. If someone wants to eat tainted meat and take poisonous medication, who is the Food and Drug Administration to say otherwise? Consumers can test their own food and drugs if they want; regulation only makes us dependent on scientists.

Regulations cut into our profit margins. After having to deal with regulations, who has the free cash to hire anyone? We can’t afford to hire anyone after paying for our megayachts, indoor shark tanks, trips overseas to our tax shelters in our private jets, the multi-million dollar bonuses we pay ourselves, lobbying expenses to avoid taxes and regulation, legal fees to defend against lawsuits, and advertising to enhance our corporate image.

The reason we have no oil in the United States is regulation. BP spent $93.4 million dollars to improve their image after the 2009 oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Containment costs for the BP spill were estimated around $4 billion. However, they didn’t waste their money buying that $500,000 remote shut-off switch that would have contained the spill, and that’s what’s important. But the government regulatory gestapo wants all rigs to have that shut off valve, as if oil spills were a problem. Regulation is hurting our economy and our oil independence.

If we could further deregulate the media, that would help our economy and also help our democracy. In 2004, five corporations owned 90% of the media outlets in the U.S. We are substantially behind Italy where one man, President Berlusconi, controls 80% of the private media channels.

If only we could get Donald Trump that kind of media control and elect him President, we’d all be better off. As it is now, you have to deal with five different corporate executives in the United States to get blanket media coverage. That gets expensive. With the Donald in charge, it would be much easier to get our message out. Right now its torture to get favorable corporate coverage with Rachel Maddow haunting our every step and being so outrageously liberal that she makes up for the 23 hours of daily corporate news with her one hour of coverage. Thankfully, the weekend is safe from her rantings about the Koch brothers control of the Tea Party.

Contaminated water is not dangerous, regulation is. So lets stop testing water quality. Regulation of water interferes with cancer research. If the water were safe, what would oncologists study? Furthermore, regulating water quality is a bottled water trade barrier. We could greatly enhance that market if we just stop testing the water and regulating the effluence from factories, houses and municipalities. It could be a win-win situation. But the socialist U.S. government wants to control our drinking supply as a way to control the people.

Building codes are just a waste of time and money. Haiti turned out quite well without them during their 2010 earthquake.

They also didn’t need building codes in China in 2008. And just because building codes saved lives in Mexico City in 1985 doesn’t mean they are a good thing. As all good Republicans and billionaires know, profit must come first at all costs.

As I have just proven, all regulations are all bad all the time. I am sure you can add your own dangerous regulations to the list.

The upside of regulation is that it gives us an excuse for not hiring as we continue to send jobs overseas. Besides, we’re making all the money we need without dealing with pesky workers.

Tex Shelters