Two too big to fail each other 0

To impress the (unbelieving) world with how hard the Obama administration is working to stop the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico since the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar notoriously announced that it would keep its “boot on the throat” of BP.

Obama and the Democrats generally like to pretend that Big Business is a wild destructive beast that has to be brutally tamed by government, as Salazar’s image implies.

But in fact, there is a symbiotic relationship between government and Big Business.

Big Business generally donates far more to the socialist parties of the Western world than to those that ideologically support the free market. Why? Because up to a point – a point that big businessmen are apparently too short-sighted to discern – high-taxing, high-spending big government is profitable for companies like BP.

And big government, while hypocritically heaping blame on them for its own failures, keeps its hand stretched out towards them.  

From the Washington Examiner:

Lobbying records show that BP is … a close friend of big government whenever it serves the company’s bottom line.

While BP has resisted some government interventions, it has lobbied for tax hikes, greenhouse gas restraints, the stimulus bill, the Wall Street bailout, and subsidies for oil pipelines, solar panels, natural gas and biofuels.

Now that BP’s oil rig has caused the biggest environmental disaster in American history, the Left is pulling the same bogus trick it did with Enron and AIG: Whenever a company earns universal ire, declare it the poster boy for the free market.

As Democrats fight to advance climate change policies, they are resorting to the misleading tactics they used in their health care and finance efforts: posing as the scourges of the special interests and tarring “reform” opponents as the stooges of big business.

Expect BP to be public enemy No. 1 in the climate debate.

There’s a problem: BP was a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a lobby dedicated to passing a cap-and-trade bill. As the nation’s largest producer of natural gas, BP saw many ways to profit from climate legislation, notably by persuading Congress to provide subsidies to coal-fired power plants that switched to gas.

In February, BP quit USCAP without giving much of a reason beyond saying the company could lobby more effectively on its own than in a coalition that is increasingly dominated by power companies. They made out particularly well in the House’s climate bill, while natural gas producers suffered.

But two months later, BP signed off on Kerry’s Senate climate bill, which was hardly a capitalist concoction. One provision BP explicitly backed, according to Congressional Quarterly and other media reports: a higher gas tax. The money would be earmarked for building more highways, thus inducing more driving and more gasoline consumption.

Elsewhere in the green arena, BP has lobbied for and profited from subsidies for biofuels and solar energy, two products that cannot break even without government support. Lobbying records show the company backing solar subsidies including federal funding for solar research. The U.S. Export-Import Bank, a federal agency, is currently financing a BP solar energy project in Argentina.

Ex-Im has also put up taxpayer cash to finance construction of the 1,094-mile Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline carrying oil from the Caspian Sea to Ceyhan, Turkey — again, profiting BP.

Lobbying records also show BP lobbying on Obama’s stimulus bill and Bush’s Wall Street bailout. …

BP has more Democratic lobbyists than Republicans.  … There’s no truth to Democratic portrayals of the oil company as an arm of the GOP.

Two patterns have emerged during Obama’s presidency: 1) Big business increasingly seeks profits through more government, and 2) Obama nonetheless paints opponents of his intervention as industry shills. BP is just the latest example of this tawdry sleight of hand.

Spreading menace 1

As we’ve said before and will say again, whatever  government does, it does badly.

Which is one of the reasons why the less any government is allowed to do, the better for the country.

Case in point: The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting from the Horizon rig’s explosion and sinking, might have been stopped from spreading if the coast guard had had the equipment that the government had known for years would be needed for just such a contingency.

A good plan was made, but the equipment to carry it out was not obtained.

Read about it here. We quote:

If U.S. officials had followed up on a 1994 response plan for a major Gulf oil spill, it is possible that the spill could have been kept under control and far from land.

Made of flame-retardant fabric, each boom has two pumps that push water through its 500-foot length. Two boats tow the U-shaped boom through an oil slick, gathering up about 75,000 gallons of oil at a time. That oil is dragged away from the larger spill, ignited and burns within an hour …

The problem: The federal government did not have a single fire boom on hand.

The “In-Situ Burn” plan produced by federal agencies in 1994 calls for responding to a major oil spill in the Gulf with the immediate use of fire booms.

But in order to conduct a successful test burn eight days after the Deepwater Horizon well began releasing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf, officials had to purchase one from a company in Illinois.

When federal officials called, Elastec/American Marine shipped the only boom it had in stock

At federal officials’ behest, the company began calling customers in other countries and asking if the U.S. government could borrow their fire booms for a few days …

A single fire boom being towed by two boats can burn up to 1,800 barrels of oil an hour …  That translates to 75,000 gallons an hour, raising the possibility that the spill could have been contained at the accident scene 100 miles from shore.

In the days after the rig sank, U.S Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said the government had all the assets it needed. She did not discuss why officials waited more than a week to conduct a test burn.

At the time, former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oil spill response coordinator Ron Gouguet — who helped craft the 1994 plan — told the [Alabama] Press-Register that officials had pre-approval for burning. “The whole reason the plan was created was so we could pull the trigger right away.”

Gouguet speculated that burning could have captured 95 percent of the oil as it spilled from the well. …

Meanwhile the oil goes on spreading, and so does the government.