LET'S GIVE GOOD GOVERNMENT A TRY

If you're an aficionado of ironic justice, try this morsel: On the day that BP's Gulf oil rig blew up, seven of the corporation's executive muckety-mucks happened to be on the platform, having gathered there for a ceremony to tout the project's safety record! They were injured, but survived.

If you’re an aficionado of ironic justice, try this morsel: On the day that BP’s Gulf oil rig blew up, seven of the corporation’s executive muckety-mucks happened to be on the platform, having gathered there for a ceremony to tout the project’s safety record! They were injured, but survived.

Adding to the irony of a safety celebration literally exploding in the face of corporate big wigs is the fact that BP’s bosses have been primary pushers of successful lobbying efforts in Washington to water down America’s environmental and safety rules. So this epic oil catastrophe is not an accident. It’s the inevitable result of industry-government collusion to put Big Oil’s profits ahead of human life, ecological vitality, and the economic well-being of others.

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Indeed, the Minerals Management Service (the agency that supposedly regulates offshore drilling) has blithely adopted nearly 100 loosey-goosey “rules” that were written by the industry’s chief lobbying group. For example, the agency does not require these inherently-risky rigs to have a backup shutdown system, as required by other nations with offshore wells. Thus, BP, which soaks up billions of dollars in profits each year, chose not to install a remote-control shutoff valve on this disastrous well, simply because it didn’t want to spend the $500,000 it would’ve cost. Now – because of such ridiculously-reckless laissez-faire laxity – BP, the people of the Gulf, and our nation face untold billions of dollars in economic losses, plus unfathomable environmental destruction.

BP’s blowout in the Gulf along with Wall Street’s unbridled rampage through our economy and Massey Energy’s deadly disregard for mine safety, stands a monument to mindless anti-government ideology – and as a testament to the urgent need for good government.

“U.S. agency lets oil industry write rules of offshore drilling,” Austin American Statesman, May 11, 2010.

“Sex & Drugs & the Spill,” The New York Times, May 10, 2010.

“Regulators warned of need for oil rig backup systems,” Austin American Statesman, May 8, 2010.

“BP’s long history of safety lapses and spills troubles regulators,” The New York Times, May 8, 2010.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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