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View Diary: Criminal charges reportedly being prepared in Deepwater Horizon spill (48 comments)

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  •  All the trash talk against Obama (45+ / 0-)

    ignored the fact that the administration moved about as methodically as could be expected in this crisis, given the enormity of the errors made by Minerals Management and the corrupt ineptness of the bureacracy. Short of putting on a diving helmet and going down to stick his finger in the leak, I am not sure Obama could have done more than he did at the time.

    BP is trying like hell to get some good press. New ads started over the holidays. That tells me they know bad press is coming.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 05:54:30 AM PST

    •  You put your finger on it. People here were mad (9+ / 0-)

      exactly because he didn't dive down, (free dive, no helmet), and get the leak stopped by himself.

      •  oh you mean like leaving those fuckers (12+ / 0-)

        to police the cleanup themselves.

        yup.

        that really had to be done.

        fer sure.

        just had to be that way.

        Donate to Occupy Wall Street here: http://nycga.cc/donate/

        by BlueDragon on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 06:48:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or that the administration approved BP driling (4+ / 0-)

          in the Gulf AGAIN back in October.

          Stoopid people gettin' all mad at Obama! What's their problem? That's change man! CHANGE! I tell ya.

          ;)

          Every election either the democrats lose or the republicans lose. But in every election there is always the same winner. And he drives a Mercedes.

          by Methinks They Lie on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 09:15:59 AM PST

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        •  Obama Had to Let BP Police the Clean up (0+ / 0-)

          It would've taken 60 votes in the Senate to do otherwise.

          This aggression will not stand, man.

          by kaleidescope on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 09:35:19 AM PST

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          •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

            Why would the Senate have been involved? It was a regulatory and justice matter. BP had county deputies on the beaches preventing journalists from photographing and reporting. They were preventing independent researchers from doing analysis on the oil and contaminated water. Those functions are strictly in the executive branch. No congress required.

            But that said, Obama was not necessarily able to just wave a stick and change that. The Republicans have had basically 30 years to stack the bureaucracy with like-oriented flunkies who operate for the industries they are supposed to be regulating. That's not going to get cleaned up overnight.

        •  That didn't happen! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pvlb

          Stop making things up. For a long time, since the gov didn't have its own cameras, they were dependent on BP for information. But the Coast Guard general put in charge was a native son and a very competent guy. And in the end, Obama had a "come to Jesus" meeting that resulted in 20 billion in cleanup funds on the table.

          Do you imagine that we have the deep diving equipment to go down there ourselves? Now, of course, we should. But that would have taken a decade of foresight. Obama couldn't pull it out of the White House basement, ya know.

          I teach oceanography. I can assure you the negligence wasn't in this administration. It started with "Saint" Ronnie, and went downhill from there.

          Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

          by MrMichaelMT on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 12:49:08 PM PST

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    •  There's a misperception among some (38+ / 0-)

      That NOAA is just BP's lapdog.  That EPA is in cahoots with big oil.  Some in our group(s) following this catastrophe sadly have helped push these ideas. Don't get me wrong: developments and dubious actions or pronouncements need to be questioned. But we should not automatically  confuse obtuse or general statements made within the constraints of pending litigation to automatically mean that BP, Transocean, Hyundai, Halliburton, and any others that may be involved with this matter will be left untouched.

      I think some simply don't realize how careful the government has to be in its statements when it is planning legal action on events of this nature. The enormity of this catastrophe, its several ramifications, each of which touches on one or more federal or state laws, requires lengthy data gathering, evaluation, and strategy-setting regarding which legal paths to take that will have the greatest chance for success while being the most likely to set precedents in behaviors that will help prevent similar events from recurring in the future.

      In addition to the criminal charges that are the subject of this diary will be civil litigation regarding compensatory payments beyond the down payment already made by BP, as well as punitive damages. The issue of negligence will become central in determining whether damage caps in the Oil Pollution Act will be lifted (it will be, I believe, the first mega spill litigated under OPA, which was enacted after the Exxon Valdez). I suspect civil litigation also will focus on obtaining judicial decisions requiring changes in how and where offshore drilling work is conducted in the future.

      And that's not even touching on the complexity of the scientific matters underpinning the legal strategies being developed. The science behind characterizing the nature and extent of contamination from spills has taken great leaps since the Exxon Valdez occurred in 1989. Our ability to quantify the presence of contaminants at ever lower concentrations has improved. Our understanding of the role of microbial degradation of hydrocarbons has progressed substantially, enhanced by developments in DNA mapping and low-concentration chemistry. EPA, researchers, and the environmental industry have more than two decades of additional experience dealing with complex sediment contamination problems; including dealing with non-aqueous phase liquids in sediments.  Where during the Exxon Valdez litigation qualitative generalities were only possible for certain matters, we are now better prepared to describe impacts using quantitative measurements and multiple lines of evidence.

      This won't be over for a long, long time; probably a decade or more. I believe Exxon Valdez litigation lasted two decades.

      •  Excellent comment - worth doing as a diary for (15+ / 0-)

        visibility.

        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 07:19:26 AM PST

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      •  See my comment below... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snoopydawg, glitterscale, Tinfoil Hat

        NOAA and the EPA colluded to hide the extent of the danger of chemicals in the seafood. THis has recently been revealed in diaries here. BP was allowed to use the Corexit pretty much wherever and whenever it wanted, even after the Coast Guard said it was stopped being used after the well was capped. Thousands exposed to the Corexit are in a living hell on the Gulf coast, having lost everything, their way of life, their money, possessions and their health. I attended a hearing in New Orleans East with three Congressional representatives recently and the Vietnamese fishing community. The stores of woe, are extensive and deep: the fishermen can't catch fish or shrimp because they aren't out there; families in severe financial debt and pain; some who worked the spill are extremely ill. These stories can be found up an down the Gulf coast.

        •  Can you provide a reference to those diaries? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim, ban nock, MKSinSA

          I'm most interested in those that cite authoritative references.

          Thanks

          •  And -- I should add... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MKSinSA

            I would expect the types of damage and harm you note with the Vietnamese fishing community (and others so harmed) would be what would fall under the purview of the compensatory, and possibly punitive, damages associated with civil litigation.

        •  It's not all due to BP (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jeff Simpson

          I've followed the scientific literature, not the blogs. There were some hard decisions made in favor of protecting the large and highly endangered birds and mammals and risking letting some really iffy chemicals into the bottom of the food chain. (The hope, of course, was that the faster evolving microbes would handle them.) Some of that worked, some didn't. You can sit and quibble with those decisions all day, but it was desperate times.

          The disappearance of the fish and shrimp cannot be attributed totally to the oil spill. The creeping dead zone phenomenon is as much due to over-fertilization (Cuban sugar farming and golf course management) as to the oil spill. This is complex but not totally on BP. It's been decades coming.

          Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

          by MrMichaelMT on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 10:04:37 AM PST

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      •  It will last as long as it takes to get a (0+ / 0-)

        Republican in the Presidency who can basically tell the agencies to settle for a lowball offer from BP without admitting responsibility.  They've got enough lawyers and enough legal challenges available to them to pick the venues for their legal fights and they've also got the Supreme Court (unless Dems win in 2016) to be the ultimate savior of Big Oil.

        I sure hope this doesn't go the way of Exxon Valdez, where the final penalties were able to be folded into the cost of doing business and the company just kept on operating.

      •  There are more misperceptions here! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OleHippieChick, Fonsia

        Most of the government is embedded bureaucracy--not appointees. It takes a couple felonies to get them away from their desks. That's why the Bushies put hundreds of Liberty grads into mid-level positions, not top (appointed) management. They are still there. (I've been trying to track this by following the size of the DC chapter of the Liberty U alumni association and it's growing by leaps and bounds.)

        MMB was a cesspool. The top guys--druggies and embezzlers all--were dumped, but the mid level employees are still there even with change of name and organization.

        Obama is intelligent, and his folks are very well-intentioned at the top. The rules for getting permits have been tightened. You can no longer write Gulf mitigation plans and talk about the walruses. But it will take more than 3 years to fix what the Bushies did.

        Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

        by MrMichaelMT on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 09:59:44 AM PST

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      •  And that was such a great ending wasn't it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LeftOverAmerica

        Exxon really paid through the nose...... oh wait!

        Congress is at 9% approval rating - within the +/- of making herpes more popular than congress! - Webranding

        by glitterscale on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 10:51:49 AM PST

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    •  Corexit rules! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scorpiorising, snoopydawg

      What POTUS said.

    •  THe Obama administration (6+ / 0-)

      enabled BP in its coverup using Corexit on the coast. I applaud the criminal charges, we'll see how extensive they are, but this is schizophrenic behavior. Thousands have become ill from the corexit mixed with oil, and that indeed, is being covered up by this administration.

    •  This case is worth taking ones time. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, MKSinSA

      Considering how well funded the opposition's legal team is, the only hope of a successful prosecution is slow and careful.  Checking wikipedia, the Exxon Valdez case is STILL in the court system as of 2008 after the Supremes vacated the $2.5 billion punitive damage award.  The Exxon Valdez happened in 1989.  This will go on a long, long time.

      •  Robt Kennedy, Jr and Mike Pappantonio (0+ / 0-)

        got the tobacco magnates. It took decades.

        This can be done, IF we maintain a Democratic government.

        Get your walking shoes on. A Senate majority will be a real challenge this time around.

        Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

        by MrMichaelMT on Thu Dec 29, 2011 at 12:50:52 PM PST

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    •  Little Too Soon to be Celebrating (0+ / 0-)

      We have no idea where this is going. It could easily end up being nothing more then a symbolic financial slap on the hand and perhaps a couple of low level flunkies get some jail time. Or maybe the Obama administration will actually get serious. But considering their track record when it comes to holding Wall Street Accountable, I'm not holding my breath.

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