"Nearly 30 members of the congressional committees overseeing oil and gas companies held personal assets in the industry totaling $9 million to $14.5 million late last year. That included at least $400,000 in the three companies at the heart of the Gulf of Mexico oil-drilling disaster, according to a Washington Post analysis of financial disclosure forms released Wednesday."
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) turned a hearing with BP CEO Tony Hayward on its head Thursday by apologizing to BP for what he called a "$20 billion shakedown." Democrats made political hay. Republicans scrambled to distance themselves. Under threat from GOP leaders of losing his job as top House Energy Republican, Barton returned to the hearing to apologize for apologizing. It later emerged that Barton's "shakedown" talking point had been crafted by the Republican Study Committee, a conservative faction that includes 115 of the 178 GOP House members. Barton got more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from the oil industry during this election cycle -- and his top single corporate contributor is Anadarko, which is a 25% stakeholder in the gushing Macondo well. Hayward, while apologetic himself, dodged the panel's questions.
"Federal agencies responding to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster should do a better job of targeting communities that have historically been underrepresented in disaster response, including people of color and Native Americans, members of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council said Tuesday."
"The man appointed Tuesday by President Obama to oversee offshore oil drilling has no experience with oil and gas issues, but he has a reputation for cleaning up embattled organizations."
WDSU, the NBC affiliate in New Orleans (Channel 6) find that BP's highly publicized statement that it is not barring news media from witnessing the cleanup, or its failure, are in fact not true. Without any legal authority, BP "security" contractors aggressively seek to intimidate and drive away reporters trying to cover the spill and response on public beaches.
"President Obama urged the nation Tuesday to rally behind legislation that would begin changing the way the country consumes and generates energy, saying the expanding oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is 'the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now.'"
"An investigation by the Murdoch-owned Sunday Times that included undercover stings documented that Japan's pro-whaling coalition at the International Whaling Commission is built in large part with a vote-buying operation aimed at small and poor nations. Japan denies the practice. The IWC meets in Morocco June 21-25 to consider a deal which would allow Japan to continue whaling."
"The oil spill spreading through the Gulf of Mexico has been declared the worst environmental catastrophe ever in the United States. But for American environmentalists, the distress may also bring opportunity."
"The first poll following Carly Fiorina's victory in the race for California's GOP Senate nomination shows three-term Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer in the lead by 48 percent to 43 percent with 5 percent preferring some other candidate and 5 percent undecided."
"A multimillionaire House Republican who owns thousands of shares of BP stock has no plans to recuse himself from a congressional investigation related to the Gulf oil spill or from votes on Capitol Hill that could affect his investments in the oil company."