Politicians and governments seem to be learning all the wrong lessons from the Gulf oil spill so far - or not learning anything at all. Three examples:
In Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal has been criticising the federal government for not acting quickly enough, and wants more urgency on oil spill clean-up. I'm quite sure if I was the governor of an oil-soaked state, I'd feel a bit frustrated too. One thing I wouldn't do, however, is seal the records on the oil spill. That is, however, what Governor Jindal has done, thereby preventing any kind of transparency on oil spill response and what his office has been doing about it.
Second example: you've probably heard about the oil dispersants that BP has been using in the Gulf, in the vague hope of breaking up the oil and have it, well, disperse more easily (not that the oil goes away, it's just less visible and less of a PR nightmare for BP). It turns out the company that makes these has just hired top lobbyists in Washington, DC:
Illinois-based Nalco Co., manufacturer of dispersant Corexit 9500, recently hired Ramola Musante to run the company's Washington lobbying effort. Musante previously worked at both EPA and the Department of Energy. Nalco also recruited Ogilvy Government Relations, whose lobbyists include Drew Maloney, past assistant to former House Majority Whip Tom Delay (R-Texas).
In simpler term, the maker of a toxic product, the use of which is extremely controversial, has now access to top government sphere. In all fairness, Nalco didn't spread the dispersants themselves, but this does sound fishy.
Last example: the UK governement has obviously not hearn about this massive spill, otherwise they wouldn't be backing a major loan to help doing the same type of drilling off the coast of Brazil. At least I assume they haven't heard of the spill, because if hey had and still went ahead with endorsing financially that kind of absurdity, that might just be a new low. Here's what John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK had to say about that:
In this newly declared age of austerity in which we're told we can barely afford schools and hospitals the government is underwriting investments in dangerous deepwater drilling, despite events in the Gulf of Mexico and the obvious climate change implications of supporting frontier oil exploration.
Heard of any politicians taking some really stupid decisions around oil? Let me know in comments!
Edit: Here's one I had missed: BP is still trying to stop people from accessing public beaches - hiring uniformed cops on their own time.