RUSH: Well, the president of the United States, Barack Obama, just walked outside the White House and said that this oil spill is ‘the greatest environmental disaster of its kind in our history.’ That means that according to Obama this spill is worse than Katrina. Now, you know what he’s done? He formed another commission to study what went wrong. Some guy named Bill Reilly and former Florida Senator Bob Graham are gonna form a commission. This is after he sends Eric Holder, a lawyer, down there to basically tell BP to go to hell. They gotta distance themselves from BP. It turns out that there’s a very cozy relationship between Obama and Rahm Emanuel and British Petroleum. Details coming up.
Well, let me just ask you a question very quickly ’cause it’s funny to watch all these people over the weekend, ‘Gosh, we really wanted somebody competent! Oh, my gosh, this is horrible. Can we get somebody competent?’ and ‘Well, really what can he do? I mean, he’s just the president of the United States. What can he do?’ Well, the question’s valid because he said he could lower the seas and heal the planet. I’ll be reading an excerpt of that speech. I’ll tell you what: If bribes, smears, and betrayals could plug the damn hole, it would have been capped long ago. That’s where Obama succeeds, folks. Is anyone still surprised the community organizer cannot organize a response to a deepwater oil spill?
RUSH: ‘Obama Administration Moves to Distance Itself from BP on Oil Spill Response.’ When the going gets tough, Obama heads for the hills, folks, and sends in the lawyers. ‘Struggling to convey command of the worsening Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Obama administration is taking steps to distance itself from BP and is dispatching,’ a lawyer and an activist, ‘Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to the Gulf Coast to meet with federal and state prosecutors. The Holder trip could signal that the environmental calamity might become the subject of a criminal investigation. … The opening of a criminal investigation or civil action against BP, if either were to happen, would create the unusual situation of the federal government weighing charges against a company that it is simultaneously depending on for the most critical elements of the response to the record oil spill.
‘The relationship between the federal government and the oil company has been an awkward collaboration all along — ‘We have them by the neck,’ Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said of BP in congressional testimony last week — but it reached a turning point Monday when the administration said it no longer wants to share a podium with BP at the daily briefing in Louisiana. Instead, the national incident commander, Coast Guard Adm. Thad W. Allen, will give a solo briefing wherever he happens to be. The public relations shake-up comes in a tense period, with the Gulf Coast rattled by news that last week’s attempted ‘top kill’ of the well didn’t work. A government forecast shows the oil slick potentially striking the popular tourist beaches of Mississippi and Alabama later this week. The official arrival of hurricane season,’ is today. We may as well just commit suicide. If a hurricane comes and it whips up the oil, oh, you don’t even want to think about it! It won’t just be the birds covered with oil, it will be us.
‘Top PR firm for BP tied to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.’ This is from Mark Hemingway, the Washington Examiner. He says: ‘Over at The Next Right, they’ve pieced together some interesting connections about the White House’s ties to British Petroleum, better known as the company currently polluting the Gulf of Mexico. We all know Obama was the biggest recipient of BP’s campaign cash in Washington, but it seems BP’s ties to the White House run even deeper. According to The Next Right, PR firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner ‘helped BP plan and evaluate its successful re-branding campaign, focusing the company’s branding on energy solutions, including the development of solar and other renewable energy sources.” I’ve seen these ads. When I first saw these ads, I said, ‘What is this? Here’s an oil company running ads for solar energy?’ I knew immediately it was to prevent a shakedown. This was an oil company saying, ‘Okay, yeah, we’ll be good citizens here. We’ll spend some money. We’ll waste some money going after solar energy.’
Stanley Greenberg is the PR leader here, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. ‘The firm’s Stanley Greenberg is married to Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn. There was something of a flap last year when it was pointed out that White house Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had been living in the couple’s Capitol Hill townhouse, resulting in a lot of questions about whether or not this arrangement violated congressional ethical guidelines. Further, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee paid Greenberg’s firm some $500,000 in 2006 and 2008 while Emanuel was living with Greenberg, and Emanuel was even in charge of the DCCC during the 2006 election cycle.’ And, of course, it was the PR firm which helped BP plan its successful rebranding campaign all the while Rahm Emanuel was living with Greenberg. I mean, it’s an incestuous bunch. There’s a story out today that something like two-thirds or three-fourths of all lobbyist donations go to Democrats; two-thirds or three-fourths of donations to political candidates and parties from lobbyists go to Democrats.
From the Associated Press: ‘President ‘Enraged’ Over Latest Failure to Stop Oil Gusher — President Barack Obama said Saturday that the failure of BP’s latest effort to stop the damaging flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico is ‘as enraging as it is heartbreaking.” Robert B. Reichhhh, in the WallStreetPit.com, is demanding that Obama put BP under temporary receivership. Oh, the best and the brightest. Not one of these moves is oriented towards stopping the flow, and the more I watch this, the angrier I get. I really do. We’re drilling for oil at a depth where no human being can go. A submarine can’t go that deep. The pressure would just crush the thing. Certainly a submarine that would be built to do this kind of thing, human beings can’t survive down there. Why are we drilling out there that deep? It’s because, as Charles Krauthammer put it, environmental chic, gotta drill out there? Because we can’t drill where the oil is easy to get: Onshore or in shallow water. We gotta go way out there. And this is one of the risks that happens when you go however many miles out — six miles out, one mile down — and then after you hit the surface one mile down you still have thousands and thousands of feet to go before you hit the oil.
Have you thought about this, too? How many times have we heard over the recent years that we’re running out of oil? ‘There’s not much left, Rush! We’re going to have to go to solar or wind or maybe put little beanie propellers on top of our VW Bugs and maybe fly around a little bit.’ There’s more oil in places on this planet, and certainly easier to get, than this gusher 5,000 feet down. Stop and think of this: What is the number of gallons that they say is coming out of there a day? And there’s no end in sight! No end in sight. If their latest technique doesn’t work, the relief wells will not be completed until August. Can you imagine the pressure that’s forcing this stuff out of the sea floor? I mean, common sense tells you we are in no danger of running out of this stuff. I know that we don’t have the technique here, but somebody ought to be trying to do something to salvage some of this so it can be used. The Saudis have a system for doing this (I have a sound bite coming up on this), separating oil from water in a way that makes it usable. But there’s a story also here at the top of the stack by Elisabeth Rosenthal. It’s from yesterday at the New York Times’ ‘Green Blog.’
The summation of this story is this: There is more oil spilled in the Nigerian Delta every year than in the Gulf of Mexico. ‘For the past month, Americans have watched with growing horror as a huge leak on a BP oil rig has poured millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. As I wrote on Sunday in the Week in Review section of The Times, there is also shock that technology has so far not been able to control it. But it is important to remember that this mammoth polluting event, so extraordinary here, is not so unusual in some parts of the world. In an article published on Sunday in The Guardian of London, John Vidal, the paper’s environment editor, movingly recalls a trip to the Niger Delta a few years ago, where he literally swam in ‘pools of light Nigerian crude.’ A network of decades-old pipes and oil extraction equipment in the Delta has been plagued by serious leaks and spills. ‘More oil is spilled from the Delta’s network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico.”
‘OK, Nigeria may seem far away to most Americans. So what does this have to do with us? Well, consider this: According to Mr. Vidal’s piece, the Niger Delta supplies 40 percent of all of the crude oil imported by the United States imports. Companies that drill in the area include Shell and Exxon. Here in the United States, people express outrage at BP’s actions in the Gulf and demand that the oil giant behave responsibly in our waters. But should they also insist that oil companies behave well in the developing countries where their oil comes from? After all, many people insist on ‘fair trade’ coffee and non-sweatshop clothing. One more excerpt from Mr. Vidal’s fascinating article: ‘If this Gulf accident had happened in Nigeria, neither the government nor the company would have paid much attention,’ said the writer Ben Ikari, a member of the Ogoni people. ‘This kind of spill happens all the time in the Delta.” Nigeria is still there. In fact, many leftists tell us that not only Europe, but Africa is a place we should emulate. There’s more oil spilled every year in the Nigerian Delta than in the Gulf of Mexico!
RUSH: I looked at the e-mail during the break. ‘Dear Rush: Are you saying spilling oil in Nigeria didn’t kill any Africans, so we Americans will be all right?’ No, no, no. I’m not saying that at all. Let me be clear here. I’m not doing anything to justify this spill. Please, don’t misunderstand. I’ve long been an advocate of the belief that our planet is capable of much more rejuvenation on its own than we could ever contemplate. Everything here is part of nature. Oil is as much a part of nature as air is. Oil is as much a part of nature as is water. Now, what’s happening in the Gulf is a disaster, there is no question about it, but I always like to keep perspective. Remember, the media is blowing this out of proportion, now adding on this hurricane bit to it — and Obama’s contributing to it because they love crisis, they love disaster. It’s bad enough as it is without raising the panic. We’re not going to die from this. The Gulf is going to recover from this; so will the Gulf Coast. It will recover. Prince William Sound has recovered. With our help we can speed it up. If we didn’t do anything, it would recover. It might take a lot of years, but it would recover. The earth is an amazing thing.
Now, I’m not suggesting anything other than trying to present you a fact. More oil is spilled every year in Africa in Nigeria than so far in the Gulf. So it’s not unique, it is not exceptional, it’s not the largest. Mexico had a spill that’s larger than this. Nobody talks about it except, apparently, me. Ixtoc I went on for nine months, and everybody is still there where that oil still happened. It is unfortunate that it’s going to cause all kinds of damage to the businesses that thrive on the Gulf Coast. Not just in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, but perhaps over to Texas. I’m not saying anything good about it, but I like to always keep things in perspective. So much of the global warming debate has centered on how fragile the earth is and that we are destroying it, and if you’re a regular listener to this program you know that I believe we’re not capable of that. The vanity! It’s amazing to listen to environmentalist wackos talk about us. On the one hand we’re no different than a frog, we’re no different than a sea turtle, we’re no different than a rat. On the other hand we are this all-powerful species that can wipe out our own climate and wipe out our own planet. Neither is true. There is no perspective in any of this.
So, yeah, it’s bad. Yes, it’s a disaster. It’s not the worst of its kind, and where these things happen around the world, a cleanup always follows as well and this will be done, too. There are so many conspiracy theories running around about this. If anybody thinks that there’s anybody at BP who doesn’t want this to stop — who doesn’t want to plug this leak — do you realize the liability they face, the damages, the costs? Nobody wants this oil to keep leaking. They’re doing the best they can with it. Unfortunately when you’re forced to go that far out and that deep down to drill and an accident like this happens, resources are limited. There aren’t that many examples of this, so experience in dealing with the fix is not readily available. So everybody’s learning on the fly here.
But the people involved are doing everything they can to get this sealed as quickly as they can and then begin with the cleanup. Let’s go to the audio sound bites. This is John Hofmeister. This was Sunday morning, a special extended edition of State of the Union on CNN. Candy Crowley talked to the former Shell Oil CEO John Hofmeister, and she said, ‘You say that British Petroleum could take the oil off the sea — obviously with water — they could cleanse it and then put the water back in. Now, if the Saudis can do it and it seems like an obvious thing — you know about it, John — why has this not occurred to British Petroleum?’
HOFMEISTER: It’s been presented, and it’s been presented to the Coast Guard. This is where I’m concerned that we have something called N.I.H. — Not Invented Here — Syndrome, because this is a different paradigm. This has never been done in the United States before. There may be arguments against it which I’m unaware of, but we’ve been asking for either a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down for weeks now and it hasn’t happened.
RUSH: Let me translate this for you. I don’t know what they’re talking about here in a specific sense — separating the oil from the water, cleansing the water and putting it back in, and obviously being able to salvage the oil — but apparently they do it in Saudi Arabia. Apparently they’re doing it other places around the world. And what’s happening here, Hofmeister, the former Shell CEO, apparently is still involved in this, is an expert, and they have asked the Coast Guard. They presented a plan to the Coast Guard and they can’t get an answer from them. Now, the government’s in charge. Obama has said so. So this is another instance where at least Hofmeister is saying, ‘Well, you know, we got this thing not invented here. If it’s not invented here we can’t do it.’ He’s basically describing a bureaucratic maze here that everybody’s having to run. He says, ‘I don’t know what the arguments against it are, but we’ve been asking for either a thumbs up or thumbs down for weeks now and it hasn’t happened.’ So nobody’s getting back to them on the idea here to separate the oil from the water, cleanse the water, and put it back in. Later, Candy Crowley interviewed former Homeland Security advisor to George W. Bush, Fran Townsend, about the oil spill. She said, ‘You laughed when he talked about if this is just something that was not invented here, N.I.H. Is that something you’re familiar with?’
TOWNSEND: It is, Candy, and unfortunately as we were talking during the break, this is one of these — we are our experience. And so what is the most recent experience with a catastrophe of this size, especially in the Gulf, and that was Katrina. Thad Allen came in when the Coast Guard and Katrina had been the first responders and these wonderful pictures and he came in and solved it. What it looks very much like is the US government is playing the playbook from Katrina. That’s the big catastrophe they know, and this is a very different catastrophe.
RUSH: Fascinating. Fran Townsend says the Obama bunch is simply redoing the Katrina plan which was savaged and ripped to shreds and said to be unworkable, uncaring, with no compassion. But that’s the only plan we’ve got. That’s the only experience we’ve got so that’s what they’re doing. They’re simply redoing the plan with Katrina, which is a much different experience here. You take that back to Hofmeister saying, ‘No, no, no. There’s a way we can separate the oil from the water on the surface. Do something about it. At least get started with this.’ They can’t get an answer one way or another from the Coast Guard on whether or not they should proceed.
RUSH: To the phones, Sandusky, Ohio. We’ll start with Tom. Nice to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Nice to be here again.
RUSH: Same to you.
CALLER: How are you today?
RUSH: Very well, sir. Thank you.
CALLER: My question is this. Bobby Jindal is having a heck of a time down there in his state because the president or his agencies are not reacting to what he’s requesting in time, and I just wonder if it would be better for Governor Jindal to go ahead and do what he wants to do regardless of what the Army Corps of Engineers says on building the barrier islands or let Obama bumble his way through this whole mess.
RUSH: Well, there’s obviously a reason why Governor Jindal is not going through with this on his own and I gather it’s because he wants to remain close to the law. He doesn’t want to break the law. It’s gotta be that. I don’t know why else not to do so. I think he’s just made a decision he’s going to follow the law. He’s gonna follow the systems and if he can’t get permission, he can’t get permission. I don’t think he’s doing it to set up blame. I think he probably just has respect for the law.
CALLER: Well, that may be true, but at some point you’re gonna have to take matters into your own hands because certainly Obama isn’t doing it. He’s walking around thinking about it.
RUSH: Well, it’s like Arizona. Arizona has pretty much taken matters into their own hands and look what’s happened to Arizona. What’s happening to Arizona is being orchestrated from the White House through Mexico City when Señor Wences brings a ventriloquist buddy up here to address a joint session of Congress. … I haven’t talked to Governor Jindal. I’m just guessing as to why he’s not saying, ‘Screw it, I’m going to build the islands anyway.’ I guess he’s a rule of law-kind of guy and that’s it. Otherwise, I guess he’d go through with it. If anybody else has a better idea, I’m open to suggestions. There probably aren’t any better ideas, but I’ll still listen.
RUSH: Now, ladies and gentlemen, I got an idea for Bobby Jindal. Maybe if he stopped referring to these things he’s going to build out there as ‘sand berms’ and started talking about building ‘sand traps,’ Obama might change his mind. Jindal could invite him down there for a bunker lesson at the same time the sand traps are being built. We gotta be fair, though. Admiral Allen said four days ago that about half of these sand berms could move forward after being built.
RUSH: All right, I did a little research here on Bobby Jindal and the berms and why not go ahead and build them, and I have the answers. That’s why you’re here. You have a question and this is the place to get an answer. This is four days ago from the AP: ‘Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen has approved portions of Louisiana’s $350 million plan to try to protect its coastline from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill with a wall of sand. Allen announced Thursday that about half of the proposed 86-mile network of sand berms could move forward. He said other sections would not help keep the oil out and could have interfered with cleanup.
‘Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was at East Grand Terre Island, a barrier island west of the mouth of the Mississippi River, when the Coast Guard sent out a news release on the berm proposal. Jindal said he had not been contacted by the Coast Guard or the Army Corps of Engineers and did not know which sections of berm were approved.’ Now, this story is four days old. It also turns out, ladies and gentlemen, that the Corps of Engineers has to be involved in this, and that’s fed[eral]. There’s also an issue of who pays for this. Jindal cannot do it without the Corps of Engineers. Louisiana doesn’t have the resources, which is one of the reasons he’s asking for permission. They also don’t have — and this, perhaps, is as key as anything — the money. This shouldn’t be a state expense, according to the people in Louisiana.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune had a fascinating story yesterday, and this goes to the fact that Louisiana doesn’t have the money and may not have the money. ‘Offshore Drilling Ban Could be a Blow to Louisiana Economy — The president and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s announcement late last week to halt all deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico ‘at the first safe stopping point’ while the Interior Department figures out what regulatory changes are necessary for offshore oil prospecting seemed designed to reassure the nation that drilling would only proceed in a safe and environmentally sensitive manner. But to those who work in the offshore industry and in the communities at the epicenter of the spiraling disaster from the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil leak, it smacked of a lack of understanding of the role that the oil business plays in the Louisiana economy. In the 2008 presidential election, no coastal parishes except for Orleans supported Obama; last week’s offshore drilling announcement only seemed to make his administration even less popular in the oil-affected parishes.’
So the bottom line not only is the spill itself doing damage, Obama may cost the state even more money by shutting down the oil business — by shutting it down while regulations are discussed and debated over how to prevent something like this from happening again. (interruption) Do I think Obama cares? Does Obama care? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. They had to tell us last week how much he cares, and the fact they had to tell us meant there was a question about it. If somebody’s on television saying (and we had a montage all these media people), ‘Oh, yeah, Obama cares! He really cares, deeply.’ Why tell us this? It must mean because we can’t tell that on our own. Now people are saying, ‘He’s a little too cool up there. We need some emotin’. We need some emotion out there,’ and I want to remind you: It’s not ‘cool.’ Obama’s cold. I have said this from the get-go: Obama is cold and calculating.
It’s likely that Jindal doesn’t know where he can build the berms. He doesn’t have the money to build the berms, and he needs the Corps of Engineers to be involved in this — which is a federal agency, of course — and he doesn’t know where he can build. So it’s a mess. There has been permission granted but nobody is signing off on the payment, who’s going to pay for what and so forth so on. Meanwhile, the oil industry gets shut down in the Gulf and that is going to have a greater impact on the entire state economy, and not just Louisiana and Alabama affected here. It’s Texas, too — while they have a commission study what kind of new regulations are necessary to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.