Point 1: BP payed off the Obama administration and other politicians "spending just shy of $20 million on federal lobbying over the last two years". Very clever.
Point 2: The Obama administration is stuffed full with former BP executives. (We must assume they must jostle for room with the Goldman-Sachs boys.)
The regulatory agency for the deep-sea drilling vampires (don't believe the vampire hype, they're really in the hire of those with the deepest pockets; how else do they pay for the dry-cleaning bills on their lace shirts?) is MMS, the Land and Minerals Management agency. Obama hired someone off an 8 year stint as an executive at BP (Sylvia Baco) as a deputy administrator.
What did this get BP?
Federal documents show that the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) gave BP a "categorical exclusion" on April 6, 2009 to commence drilling with Deepwater Horizon even though it had not produced the impact study required by a law known as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The report would have included probable ecological consequences in the event of a spill.
And so the story goes. We, and the pelicans, and the bayou, and the whole gulf of Mexico were sold out for a pittance.
Of course, the administration and BP have been lying to us for what, 6 weeks? about the size of the spill. First BP said 1000 barrels a day, then they upped it to 5000 barrels. Now, that they're capturing their all that they can, upwards of 15,000 barrels, with lots more left, they (the Obama administration --Stephen Chu, I trusted you, what was I thinking?-- are admitting, finally that just perhaps the spill was an order of magnitude (50,000 barrels) or more, all the way up to 100,000 barrels a day. Here's a nice non-hysterical chart of how much oil has probably leaked into the gulf. It's pretty scary,
BP should spend all of its resources cleaning this up, every last penny. Seeinng as how they made $17 Billion (notice the B) last year, they should be able to do so,
Update--the NYT has an article on newest estimates of the flow rates prior to the riser being cut. Lede? Estimates double, and this is before the riser cut which has been estimated to add another 20% to the flow.