Wednesday, July 16, 2008

When to Use the Magic Wands

It is rather amazing that the worst administration every is claiming that oil prices can't be lowered because they don't have a magic wand. The magic wand has just erased all the oil spills from Hurricane Katrina! Why not use it on the oil companies, those big buddies of the cretin in chief, to keep prices low for America? Guess that magic wand only works to turn human beings into gold, missing the point of the Midas legend.

Thanks to Crooks & Liars, I ran across the repeated claims by McCain campaigners, including the candidate, that Katrina caused no oil spills. I particularly appreciate C&L doing the listening for me, I have as much trouble listening to lies from the McCain campaign as I have listening to the lies from the war criminals in the executive branch.

In researching the oil spills, the Wonk Room came up with a couple, one of them the Murphy Oil spill, which I recall seeing covered (pun intended) in the news after the spill. It was a slimey mess, and ruined a small pretty LA town, which made sensational news for a few nights.

There were several stories too from the wetlands around Grand Isle, LA, an area where environmentalists have been working hard to recreate the vast drainage area that used to filter the water draining into the Gulf. It was slimed as well, and I took a particular sorrow from that since I have lots of pictures my parents took as newlyweds, a lovely area to spend time in the old fashioned bathing suits they thought were so daring.

Unsurprisingly, this devastation caused significant spillage, according to the official report prepared for the MMS by a Norwegian firm:

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Caused 124 Offshore Spills For A Total Of 743,700 Gallons. 554,400 gallons were crude oil and condensate from platforms, rigs and pipelines, and 189,000 gallons were refined products from platforms and rigs. [MMS, 1/22/07]

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Caused Six Offshore Spills Of 42,000 Gallons Or Greater. The largest of these was 152,250 gallons, well over the 100,000 gallon threshhold considered a “major spill.” [MMS, 5/1/06]

In addition, the hurricanes caused disastrous spills onshore throughout southeast Louisiana and the rest of the Gulf Coast as tanks, pipelines, refineries and other industrial facilities were destroyed, for a total of 595 different oil spills. The 9 million gallons reported spilled were comparable with the Exxon Valdez’s 10.8 million gallons, but unlike the Exxon Valdez, were distributed throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and other Gulf Coast states, many in residential areas. The most massive spills included:

– The Bass Enterprises Cox Bay spill of 3.78 million gallons of oil, the largest spill caused by the hurricanes
– The Murphy Oil spill in Mereaux, LA of 819,000 gallons of oil, contaminating 1,700 homes and the local high school

As the Houston Chronicle reported in 2005:

The quantity and cumulative magnitude of the 595 spills, which were spread across four states and struck offshore and inland, rank these two hurricanes among the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.

UPDATE: At the Think Progress mothership, Lee Fang notes that conservatives are repeating this false talking point:

– George Will: “Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed or damaged hundreds of drilling rigs without causing a large spill.”

– Wall Street Journal editorial: “Hurricanes Katrina and Rita flattened terminals across the Gulf of Mexico but didn’t cause a single oil spill.”

– Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne: “When Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast where we have about 4,000 oil and gas platforms, 3,000 were in the direct line of the storms - the most significant storms we’ve seen ever - and 3,000 of those had to be shut down. We had no significant oil spill. The system worked.”

– Fox News’ Dick Morris: “And by the way, the safety concerns, Hurricane Katrina didn’t cause any leakage or any spill in the Gulf of Mexico oil wells.”

The magic wand is there, see? Now can we free it up for use on oil prices? Oh, silly, it's already there. The cretin in chief has announced that drilling in ANWR and the continental shelf will be the answer to our oil price crisis. Why, what a surprise, all of the shills on the right wing are making the same claim. Rep. Ralph Hall says it's drill in protected areas or go to war to get our rightful oil.

The right wing has a magic wand indeed, that has turned all their minds to slush, and produces sewage instead of facts.

It's hardly surprising that an opposition movement has sprung up to keep the Bush name from befouling a sewage plant in California. "Bush" would give fecal matter a bad name.

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Blogger James W. Pharo said...

Evidently, Mr. Bush used to think the President had a magic wand, back before he was President:

Yesterday, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said he would not tap U.S. strategic petroleum reserves in order to drive down prices, saying those reserves are for emergencies. But given the shortages that exist, do you consider this an appropriate time to tap those reserves?

BUSH: No, I don't. I think I agree with the energy secretary that the strategic petroleum reserve is meant for a national wartime emergency.

What I think the president ought to do is he ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say we expect you to open your spigots. One reason why the price is so high is because the price of crude oil has been driven up. OPEC has gotten its supply act together, and it's driving the price, like it did in the past. And the president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the price.

And if in fact there is collusion amongst big oil, he ought to intercede there as well.

I used to be in the oil business. I was little oil -- really little oil. And so I understand the -- I understand what can happen in the marketplace.

I think it's very important for us, though, to recognize that our country better become less dependent on foreign crude. That's why I am for the exploration of ANWR. That's why I'm for the exploration of natural gas, which is hemispheric. It's not subject to price.

I wonder what else Mr. Bush has learned about being President?

9:45 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Good find, there. I have heard too that w used a campaign promise that since he was an oilman, he'd get better oil prices for us, but I can't find a link for it.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, looks like he kept that promise to get 'us' better oil prices, too. Just one little catch though, it appears if the aforementioned 'us' is not synonymous with "we the people". Or in less obfuscatory terms, 'us' is 'them', the oil companies & (some) oil-producing countries. The 'we' 'us' are SOL once again...

OTOH, he did promise to run this country like a business, and sure enough, he ran it just like he ran his own - straight into the ground.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

The shame is that he didn't go AWOL, I am sure the GoPervs who elected him tho't he would.

1:33 PM  

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