Disaster that never was: Why claims that BP created history's worst oil spill may be the most cynical spin campaign ever … The warm, white sand stretches for miles as clean and flat as a freshly laundered bed sheet. The turquoise sea is so clear that I can see silvery fish playing around my toes as I take a cooling paddle. If there is any more pristine resort in which to spend a summer holiday than Pensacola Beach, on the Gulf Coast of Florida, I would like to find it. And yet, at a time of year when usually there is barely room to unfold a deckchair, the shore is eerily deserted. Ask Pensacola's fretfully quiet seafront traders why the tourists have all stayed away and they angrily recall one chaotic day back in late June. Then, hungry for dramatic TV footage to support Barack Obama's announcement, that the BP – or, as he preferred, 'British Petroleum' – oil spill was 'the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced', news networks descended on their town. They quickly found what they were looking for: shocking images of Pensacola's famously white beaches thickly-coated with sticky, black crude oil and apparently beyond salvation. The apocalyptic message was reinforced in doom-laden interviews with locals. 'It's damn near biblical. This place is done for!' lamented 36-year-old Kevin Reed, whose family have swum and sunbathed in the area for generations. His anguish was understandable. Yet, as I saw this week, nothing could be further from the truth. Strolling along the beach for an hour, I found just one, pea-sized tar-ball, which crumbled to nothing between my fingers. – UK Daily Mail
Dominant Social Theme: Oil is a curse and drilling should end, regardless.
Free-Market Analysis: The BP story just keeps on getting weirder. First it was the most monumental crisis in the history of environmental pollution, and now, if reports are accurate, it is nearly nothing at all. In the meantime, the Obama Administration has attempted to shut-down deep-sea drilling and to use the crisis to rework public opinion in favor of a carbon-tax, etc. BP itself has lost billions off its market cap and its weirdly disconnected CEO has been fired.
We don't think the final shoe has dropped on this tale, but in the meantime we are left pondering whether the BP was a kind of elite promotion gone badly wrong or whether it was merely a sad a startling series of errors that the major players attempted to rework to their advantage, seemingly without success.
Right now, the whole spectacle reminds us of the end of the great movie, the Witches of Eastwick. At the very end of the movie, a distorted Jack Nicholson rages outside of his manor as a terrifying Satan-like figure. However, he is irretrievably damaged when the beautiful witches cowering inside throw a voodoo doll of his figure into a fire. In a final shot, he is shown as a tiny, ephemeral, infant-like character floating in the breeze outside the mansion and vanishing with a tiny "poof." Thus it is that the BP Bogeyman seems in danger of vanishing with a "poof" of directionless wind.
Even now, with postmortems pouring in, it is not clear exactly what happened when BP's deep-sea rig blew up as a result of an explosion at the well-head itself. The disaster released millions of barrels of oil into the gulf and gave rise to suspicions throughout the alternative Internet media that BP had somehow participated in a false flag event intended to reinvigorate public support for a carbon tax and stricter environmental measures.
Of course given the way things work today, the odds are nil that substantive evidence will ever emerge to shed definitive light about what went on. Thus, suspicions will linger. BP itself is a corporation evidently connected at the highest levels of Western power and wealth. Certainly those who tend to be suspicious of such incidents will find plenty to fuel their doubts about the official story (whatever it finally turns out to be).
The weirdness of the initial accident was only compounded by the detached way that top BP executives handled the matter. It was almost as if those at the very top of BP had attended a seminar on how to aggravate a crisis and make people really, really mad. Statements from BP executives about the "little people" and by its CEO that he wanted his "life back," were jaw-dropping. One almost felt that, in this day of smooth and polished damage control, that the BP executives were doing it on purpose. It was that abysmal.
We've run a number of articles on the BP disaster and one in particular stands out – an article that cited a site called XelanBonn.com, the blog-construct of an energy consultant. The site itself carried updates on the disaster and did not mince words about the weirdness of the incident. Here is an excerpt that we cited previously:
A solution could have been deployed within a few days. Hence, the oil spilling into the Gulf since about May 1st was all preventable—which means, essentially, that the environment could have been kept nearly clean by comparison to today's ongoing spill contamination—it means this extended catastrophe was essentially preventable by simply invoking emergency damage control measures. These facts suggest BP acted in a criminally negligent manner and is continuing to do so. It is also suggests that BP is engaged in a conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, among a long list of other potential criminal violations. However, BP is not the only culpable party—most of the blame actually falls to the Obama Administration by fact of authority, leadership, and access to needed solution tools—none of which are under BP's control.
To read the full DB story, click here: Disturbing Questions Around BP Leak.
The Obama administration certainly did seem to be operating in slow motion when it came to cleaning up the gulf. It turned a good deal of help from foreign countries that had critical knowledge of how to deal with such oil disasters. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard kept critical barges tied up at dock because it was not sure whether they contained the requisite number of life jackets. These and other apocryphal stories merely stoked suspicions.
But now the reports are that there is little oil left to see. No one is certain at this point that the oil is gone. It may be trapped mid-ocean or it may actually have been reabsorbed for the most part by the vastness of the Gulf itself. If the oil really has vanished, the ability of the Obama administration to continue to use the disaster as a kind of environmental propaganda is likely constrained.
We would note, nonetheless, that the pressure to move ahead with various environmental regulations, including a carbon cap-and-trade proceeds unabated in some quarters. The latest news being reported is that the UN itself is trying to create a proposal for a global carbon tax. In a larger sense, we suppose that the weirdness surrounding the BP incident is only fitting, since the entire debate over the pollution inherent in "carbon dioxide" has to be one of the strangest promotions that the power-elite has ever attempted. We hope it diminishes and eventually disappears.