Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a must-read blog post at HuffingtonPost.com. It specifically attacks the right-wing labeling the BP oil spill "Obama's Katrina." In fact, as Kennedy shows, the disaster can be traced to the once-secret Cheney energy task force meetings, after which the Minerals Management Service, which regulates the oil industry, recommended against using acoustically triggered switches that "might have closed off BP's gushing pipe at its sea floor wellhead when the manual switch failed."
Acoustical regulators, as the switches are called, are required by law when drilling of the shore of Brazil and Norway. "BP uses the device voluntarily in Britain's North Sea and elsewhere in the world as do other big players like Holland's Shell and France's Total," Kennedy reports. In 2000 the Minerals Management Service described acoustic regulators as "essential," and advocated making them mandatory on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
Two years later, after Cheney's "secret" energy task force meetings, the same agency recommended against them "because they tend to be very costly." The devices cost in the neighborhood of $500,000. The cost of the BP spill to the Gulf Coast communities is in the neighborhood of $14 billion.
Read the whole article.