End Game in Sight.
Hey, can I get some of those 20 billion dollars in BP's escrow account? This BP spill has caused me to lose sleep and has given me some emotional stress. That should be worth $20,000-30,000.00 at least! BP put up hoping to get Obama to shut up and perhaps to get assurances that the Obama administration and BP will both survive.
Obama got a much needed political win and I am sure BP got some things in return as it appears the bitter rivals came together to save their own skins. BP made the deal to save their company and the President made a deal to save his presidency as it is getting harder and harder to guess which side of this duo was less popular with the American people.
This has become a political nightmare for Obama as the American people have been amazed at how inept he has been at responding to this crisis. He has put politics ahead of the best interests of the people down in the Gulf with his failure to waive the Jones act and by misleading the American people about expert calls for a drilling moratorium that has destroyed his rapport and trust with the American public. Even his own supporters were turning on him.
Obama needed BP and BP needed Obama and it makes one wonder why the administration was not involved with and talking with BP all along. At the end of the day it appears that it was a win-win for both parties because as we all know misery loves company.
If you just look at the numbers you might think that BP is the loser. BP agreed to a binding and voluntary agreement to deposit $5 billion a year into an escrow account over the next four years. That total of $20 billion would be backed by the company's U.S. assets as collateral. At the same time BP agreed to 100,000 compensation fund to help oil rig workers impacted by the politically motivated drilling moratorium and to suspend its dividends to shareholders for the rest of this year.
It seems the President got everything he wanted and what he wanted desperately more than anything else was a political win. BP got assurances that they could survive. The market place fear was that the Obama admistration may move to seize BP and its assets or revoke their US permits do business. Now it appears that the Obama administration will back off both civilly and criminally and give BP a chance to put their risk in quantifiable terms.
Of course those terms are still hard to grasp but if the President's projections are correct that 90% of the oil will be captured in weeks and the leak will be stopped in August, the truth is that BP will be able to survive this mess. The question though might be whether Obama can do the same.
The Wall Street Journal has skewered the President by reporting that the Obama Administration may have knowingly misled the public about the reasons for the drilling moratorium. The Wall Street Journal editorial page reports, Before the Obama Administration sweeps under the carpet the controversy over the drilling experts it falsely used to justify its moratorium, the incident bears another look.
Not least because it underlines the purely political nature of a drilling ban that now threatens the Gulf Coast economy and drilling safety. When President Obama last month announced his six-month deepwater moratorium, he pointed to an Interior Department report of new safety recommendations. That report prominently noted that the recommendations it contained-including the six-month drilling ban-had been peer-reviewed by experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering.
It also boasted that Interior consulted with a wide range of other experts. The clear implication was that the nation's drilling brain trust agreed a moratorium was necessary. The Wall street Journal reported that the opposite is true. In a scathing document, eight of the experts the Administration listed in its report said their names had been used to justify a political decision.
The draft they reviewed had not included a six-month drilling moratorium. The Administration added that provision only after it had secured sign-off. In their document, the eight forcefully rejected a moratorium, which they argued could prove more economically devastating than the oil spill itself and counterproductive to safety. The administration insisted this was much ado about nothing.
An Interior spokesman claimed the experts clearly had been called to review the report on a technical basis, whereas the moratorium was a comprehensive question. Obama environment czar Carol Browner declared: No one's been deceived or misrepresented. Really? We can only imagine the uproar if a group of climate scientists had claimed the Bush Administration misappropriated their views.
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