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CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA)
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
BP: * "Corporate Criminal" * Beneath the Surface
President Obama is scheduled to meet with the chair of BP on Wednesday. Mokhiber is editor of Corporate Crime Reporter. He said today: "BP is a recidivist corporate criminal. BP has three convictions and one deferred prosecution agreement in the last ten years. In his speech [Tuesday night] Obama did not once mention the words 'crime,' 'criminal' or 'justice.' Why not? Because Obama is not serious about corporate crime. If he were, he would bring the full law enforcement force of his administration down on BP and the responsible executives. BP would be debarred from all government contracts -- including contracts supplying the U.S. military in Iraq with a majority of its fuel needs. Time for a change."
A retired professor at the University of Alaska, Steiner was deeply involved in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He just returned to Alaska from working at the site of BP's Deepwater Horizon gusher and on the Gulf Coast. He said today: "I am continually troubled by the reference to shores and coasts, while ignoring the offshore pelagic ecosystem. This is where most of the damage has occurred, and will continue to occur. But the continual reference only to the beaches and shorelines is, it seems, a strategy designed to distract public attention away from the enormous offshore damage, in the water column, and the fact that NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] fumbled the scientific response to understand the offshore damages (in particular the subsurface plumes, etc.).
"I was stunned that the president discussed only generally clean, sustainable energy, but without any action item whatsoever. We need to hear exactly what he will propose to move us to the transition quicker, not just the same old nice, yet general, feel-good statements. At very least, he needs to propose a doubling-down of everything he has done to date on this front, to show this is more than hollow rhetoric.
"As well, the Commission, with its political appointments, seems to be headed to become the 'let's get the administration's offshore drilling plan back on track' commission. ....
"It is beyond me why the Secretary of the Navy is in charge of developing the Gulf Coast Restoration Plan -- it legally should be the NRDA [Natural Resource Damage Assessment] Trustee agencies, including NOAA and DOI [Department of Interior]."