You’ve been hearing about the Minerals Management Service (MMS) lately and their friendly relationship to the oil industry. Their mission is to “manage the mineral resources of the Outer Continental Shelf in an environmentally sound and safe manner.”
That seems a bit optimistic nowadays doesn’t it?
From the start, when it was created as little more than a lobbying office located right in the Department of the Interior, courtesy of Ronald Reagan and James Watts in the 1980’s and after eight years of Bush-Cheney, MMS has been busy cuddling up to big oil. This was pushed to a logical and absurd conclusion when the Bush administration signed off on big oil’s desire for voluntary, “trust me,” self-regulation — and caved in to industry demands not to mandate the backup shut off switch for offshore rigs that Brazil and Norway require. In fact, this dangerous relationship was taken to the extreme and manifested in the Sex-for-Oil scandal two years ago.
Government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties engaged in illicit sex with employees of energy companies they were dealing with and received numerous gifts from them, federal investigators said Wednesday.
Between 2002 and 2006, nearly one-third of the staff in the Denver MMS office received gifts and gratuities from oil and gas companies, the investigators found. There was also sex, allegations of drug use and the other usual ‘government workers behaving badly’ sorts of thing going on.
So now what are wer left with?
The United States is looking more like a third world country everyday. For all of Barack Obama’s and Ken Salazar’s talk of putting boots on company throats, we couldn’t remove ourselves from BP and their incompetence even if we wanted to. Ironically, for all BP’s hubris and lack of deep water safety know how, they are all we have standing between the oil leak in the gulf and a disaster that could have environmental effects as far away as Europe. BP knows this and that’s why they’re are calling the shots in the Gulf. The oversight is a joke and Americans are still being hood winked by their own government. Fact is, we are joined at the hip with BP whether we like it or not, because the United States government has demonstrated once again that it is not capable to help itself or its citizens. We’ve out sourced our off shore environmental protection to oil companies. I hope we can endure it.
To quote David Gergen, “If we fought World War II like we’re fighting this oil spill, we’d all be speaking German now.”
I agree 100%.
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