In a March report that was not questioned by federal officials, BP said it had the capacity to skim and remove 491,721 barrels of oil each day in the event of a major spill. As of Monday, with about 2 million barrels released into the Gulf, the skimming operations have averaged less than 900 barrels a day, according to a CBS News report.
Feeding online speculation of a conspiracy - or cover-up - are published stories from affected Gulf Coast regions that federal officials are restricting the public - including news photographers and reporters - toward approaching within 65 feet of any response vessels or booms on the water or on beaches.
Internet discussion boards are buzzing with speculation that the federal government's supposed slow response in accepting foreign help - in addition to blocking state and local attempts at clean-up - was timed to coincide with the start of hurricane season, which runs through November. Notwithstanding dearth of hard evidence, word is spreading virally online that sinister design motivated the current crisis and subsequent inaction - one just has to "connect the dots."
Irrespective of whether or not Barack Obama's henchmen sunk the Transocean (RIG-$51.95) - leased semi-submersible rig, accusatory fingers point to the White House for manufacturing a crisis to advance an unpopular climate agenda, according to the Economic Collapse blog:
Never one to to allow a "good crisis" to go to waste, Barack Obama is pledging to use the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as an opportunity to push the U.S. Congress to pass his controversial climate bill.
Against the backdrop of the oil spill, Democratic Senators John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman released the first draft of the American Power Act on May 12, without support from any Republican senators. The American Power Act would establish a nationwide cap-and-trade system that would regulate the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere by big businesses.
It would be useless to perceive how things ‘actually look' as it would be to watch the random dots on untuned television screens. ~ Artificial intelligence expert Marvin Minsky
With oil recovery efforts coming up short, could Professor Minsky be wrong in thinking "how things look" can't be inferred from connecting seemingly isolated events?
Carbon emission (offset) credits would be traded on the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the only legally binding (and recognized) greenhouse gas exchange in North America. The CCX derivatives market could be worth an estimated $10 trillion to its owners, according to principal founder Richard Sandor.
As detailed by Victor Thorn in an intriguing online post "Was BP Oil Spill an Inside Job?", most - if not all - holding CCX investment stakes are ‘friends' of the Obama administration, including: erstwhile VP Al Gore, former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsen (retired chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs), and President Obama's favorite Chicago-based charity Joyce Foundation, (which has a donor relationship with John Ayers (brother of the president's (alleged) friend and 1960's Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers).
Beltway insiders aren't the only ones who stand to benefit in the wake of the oil spill. President Obama has publicly vilified Goldman Sachs (GS-$138.00) as exemplifying all things "bad" about Wall Street. For example, the company's senior executives earned millions apiece in bonuses from the mortgage-backed securities scandal. Could there be a rhyme to the investment banking firm's reason for being Obama's whipping post? Goldman Sachs owns 10 percent of CCX, worth an estimated $1 trillion.
Goldman Sachs' proprietary trading unit profited from the spill, too, earning upwards of $266 million from a short-sale position held in BP stock, according to regulatory filings reviewed by RawStory.com.
It's not just politics that makes for "strange bedfellows" (to paraphrase essayist Charles Dudley Warner). Dots are being connected that show gains to be had by energy-related concerns too. In a recent posting, I mentioned that investigators were examining the role of Dick Cheney and his former employer Halliburton (HAL-$28.70) in the undersea spill, as the oil-service company was responsible for cementing the blown-out drill hole. Suspicious Internet minds believed Halliburton intentionally triggered the catastrophic blowout (using substandard concrete slurry when cementing the spaces around the piping in the wellbore casing) to adversely affect U.S. oil production - looking to boost oil prices (and profits).
RawStory.com judiciously noted in a posting last month how Halliburton stood to make money from the spill through another venue - the clean-up itself: on April 9, just 11 days before the Deepwater rig explosion, Halliburton bought oil-services company Boots & Coots for $240 million. A provider of equipment and services for well fires (and inspiration for a 1968 film called Hellfighters, starring John Wayne), the acquired company also has noted global expertise in well integrity design and spill containment. And, yes, Boots & Coots has a contract with BP for the Gulf oil spill.
Unfortunately for conspiracy buffs, circumstantial evidence alone isn't enough to convict. Nonetheless, a perverse sense of justice could still be had for those "who believe." As predicted by the "law of unintended consequences," drilling moratoriums and mangled reputations were not what the key protagonists (BP and Pres. Barack Obama, respectively) envisioned for their roles in this tragicomedy playing out in the Gulf of Mexico.
Image Source: Cap & Trade photo courtesy of "C3 (Climate Cycles Change) Headlines"