BP: Disaster Was Inevitable

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Remember what President Obama was doing before the April 20 explosion onboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and before the June 23 resignation of General Stanley McChrystal?

He was busy selling a kinder-gentler United States to the rest of the world and focusing on domestic issues such as financial industry reform. In typical fashion the US turned on itself after the BP disaster.

Earlier, British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward and Goldman Sachs' Peter  Sutherland, himself a former BP head, were among those company officials dumping their stocks shortly before the explosion. BP took many shortcuts over the course of years that could have only led to the eventuality of one of the worst environmental disasters of all time and still counting.

According to the Daily Record "engineers cut corners in the wall design, cementing and drilling mud efforts and the installation of drilling devices known as 'lockdown sleeves' and 'centralizers' according to congressional investigators... the decision saved BP $7 million to $10 million; the original cost estimate for the well was about $96 million."

BP is not new to taking cheap shortcuts and ignoring common-sense safety measure it seems. Back during the summer of 2006 they had an oil spill in Alaska that was blamed on a lapse in inspections some of you may remember. This followed the 2005 Texas refinary fire and explosion. Back then I wrote a 2-part op-ed where I noted that retired oil worker Chuck Hamel was reported to have said that workers approached him as far back as 1999 claiming that BP was skimping on a chemical used to prevent corrosion in order to hold down costs.

This was one of their ways to cash-in during the drop in oil prices. One of BP's problems is that even though they don't drill Saudi oil, they yearn to profit like the other big boys.

A lot of the attention and blame being targeted on President Obama for his reaction to the spill, is to prevent you from taking a look into BP's shady history.

In truth there is little the President can do beyond what he's already done with a company that has been deceptive and cunning towards it's consumers much longer than he has been in office. Are these corporate giants too evil and fast moving for President Obama to keep up with? No; but this ordeal does take him offguard in that it catches him during a time when he was doing something considered pretty sickening by the right; repairing U.S. relations with the rest of the world.

A few months ago, on March 13 three people with US government ties were murdered in Mexico City by members of a drug-cartel. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pointed out at the beginning of the Obama administration the US role --in terms of being major consumers-- in illegal drug importation and it's by-product of violent Mexican drug-gangs.

The Right went nuclear, mocking and insulting the president, led by the typical mock-outrage of Glenn Beck and venomous utterances of Michael Savage, and Sean Hannity.

These men stop short of nothing in their quest to turn the country against President Obama. Beck in fact had to apologize for repeatedly mocking Obama's daughter during some of his broadcasts. Vile as their malicious attacks are, the presidents low ratings proves that gutter tactics work. You would think President Obama planned the BP explosion himself going by Hannity's and Beck's pronouncements.

Chris Stevenson is a syndicated columnist, his articles also appear on his blog; the Buffalo Bullet, www.buffalobullet.blogspot.com Follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/pointblank009 and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pointblank009


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