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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

 
Getting What They Paid For

by digby

Is there a bigger lackey than Mary Landrieu in the congress? I honestly don't think so. She is facing an environmental devastation of her state's shoreline and the destruction of its fishing and tourism industries and she was on John King's show this afternoon defending the oil industry and promoting more offshore drilling:

King: You know the narrative's that's emerging, that critics of this industry say that senators from the Gulf states, senators like Mary Landrieu are too cozy with the industry, that your states get a lot of revenue from this and that this industry has essentially regulated itself. Because in Democratic and Republican administrations, the enforcement from the government, the regulation from the government is simply not at the level it needs to be. Is that a fair criticism?

Landrieu: Well that will be examined. I don't believe that's a fair criticism. I think that this industry has very tight regulations and good regulations. But you know we learn after every accident. We learned after the Three mile [Island] accident with nuclear. We shut that whole industry down and that was a mistake. We should have regulated it better and continued to lead the world in nuclear, and instead ...

King: So those who say this is a wake-up call, shut this industry down ...

Landrieu: They are wrong, they are absolutely wrong and I'll tell you why. Because that's not going to do anything to clean our environment. [Really?] It's not going to do anything to create jobs. It's going to lose jobs. And it's not going to do anything to make America safe, you know independently, energy independent, and those are the three things we need to do. Moving this industry off our shores on to other shores, where they don't have the kind of tight regulation, where they don't have the court system we do, where they don't have the kind of transparent government we have -- would be wrong and a mistake.

And I want to make this point. Two things. We use 20 million barrels of oil a day. We only produce 9. So we've got to produce not less but more. And we have to do it safely. And again I hope we can do this in a fashion that's respectful [?] we investigate, we hold people accountable and we move forward.

King: When something like this happens people go back at look at political relationships. Of the top 20 recipients from the oil and gas industry ever, you rank number 14. In the 2008 campaign, you were the number one congressional candidate for donations from BP, after only president Obama presidential candidate, Senator Obama and Senator McCain. There are some who say that if you're going to be the watchdog, you should give that money back.

Landrieu: I'm not trying to be a watchdog for BP. I'm trying to be a good Senator for this country and Louisiana. And to bring a balance to our energy policy, which means fighting for our coasts, and energy security and a clean environment. I want to say again John, this is important. We've drilled a thousand deep water wells successfully, except for this one. So the fact that you do it 99 out of a hundred right and one wrong doesn't mean you throw up your hands and then run in hysteria.

King: Even if an ecosystem is destroyed for ten years?

Landrieu: Well, it may not be destroyed for ten years. We will see what happens. I know that there's going to be some environmental challenges, but we believe that we have the technology to clean it up to compensate for people. But look, if New Jersey wants to give up their oil, if Florida wants to give up their oil, then fine. But their going to have a crash in their economy. We need to have a transition., blah,blah,blah...
Governor Bob Riley of Alabama may have something to say about it. It's kind of hard to make Louisiana bear the entire risk in case of that one out of a thousand catastrophic oil spill, isn't it?
At a press conference this afternoon in Mobile, AL, the Wonk Room questioned Riley whether he would reconsider his “Drill, Baby, Drill” stance as the oil spill grows, threatening the destruction of the bayous and beaches of Mobile Bay. After a long pause, Riley answered that he “will have a completely different attitude” if the efforts to protect his state’s shores fail:

That’s a great question. After we get through this, I think all of us can make a better determination than we can now. Because with the resources that have been deployed, and if we can do what I hope we can do in Alabama to mitigate any potential environmental damage here, especially in our estuaries, then I will have a completely different attitude about whether or not it is controllable after something this dramatic happens.


Come on Bob. You can't just "throw up your hands in hysteria" because of one little massively destructive oil spill. After all it hardly ever happens. Who knows, it might not be so bad. And anyway, the oil companies are really good citizens who have lots of tough regulations already and we need to drill, baby, drill to keep the babies safe and keep the oil companies giving you lots of money for your campaigns. Get your priorities straight.

Landrieu really couldn't be more of a bought and paid for . This isn't your normal "industry vs government" argument. She has a whole bunch of constituents who are going to be ruined by this. And unless Rush and the boys succeed in brainwashing all of them that Obama personally blew up this well for political reasons, they are going to want someone to pay. It sure doesn't sound like Landrieu's willing to fight for them on that.

We'll see. Maybe everyone in the Gulf is philosophical about some multinational corporations buying off their political representatives and ruining their state and way of life. Landrieu probably shouldn't count on it though.


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