Forget the speculation that BP's oil spill is "Obama's Katrina," says Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in The Huffington Post. President Obama's response has been impressive — he has sent 2,000 personnel from a host of federal agencies to confront the problem. If you're looking for someone to blame, Kennedy says, try Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush.
The Bush White House, with vice president Dick Cheney leading the charge, pandered to the oil industry from Day 1. Cheney filled the staff of the Minerals Management Service with "oil industry toadies." As a result, Bush's 2005 energy bill, following a Minerals Management Service recommendation, dropped a requirement that oil companies fit every deepwater oil well with a $500,000 "acoustical regulator" — an automatic shut-off switch that could have prevented the BP spill. Here's an excerpt from Kennedy's article:
"Bending over for Big Oil became the ideological posture of the Bush White House, and, under Cheney's cruel whip, the practice trickled down through the regulatory bureaucracy. The Minerals Management Service — the poster child for "agency capture phenomena" — hopped into bed with the regulated industry — literally. A 2009 investigation of the Minerals Management Service found that agency officials 'frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives.' Three reports by the Inspector General describe an open bazaar of payoffs, bribes, and kickbacks spiced with scenes of female employees providing sexual favors to industry big wigs who in turn rewarded government workers with illegal contracts."
Read the full article at The Huffington Post.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Secret Service stretched mission to protect employee, report finds
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 10 things you need to know today: October 22, 2014
- How to make corn dogs
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The U.S. government is actually trouncing Ebola. When will it get credit?
Subscribe to the Week