BP: “We Can and Do Responsibly Operate”

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President Obama met with the heads of BP today to kick some ass calmly discuss the state of the company’s much criticized response to the oil disaster. But just a few months ago, the White House was soliciting input from BP and other stakeholders for its new Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, a panel of government agencies formed to oversee the “protection, maintenance, and restoration of oceans.”

BP’s September 14, 2009 letter to the Council on Environmental Quality includes a number of lines that we now know to be not all that true:

U.S. waters and coasts hold enormous natural resource wealth and we have demonstrated we can and do responsibly operate within these areas while supporting American jobs and contributing to energy security. Properly regulated and managed, these areas should and can continue to be available for multiple uses.

And this:

Effective controls are in place and being enforced to appropriately manage water resources in the ocean, lake, and coastal areas in the United States where we operate various industry and commercial operations.

The portions about the effective oversight of the Minerals Management Service (MMS), which we now know has long neglected any meaningful environmental analysis of offshore development, is particularly striking:

The minerals Management Service (MMS) five-year leasing program development process takes into consideration multiple uses of US waters and provides balanced environmental stewardship and responsible development of the OCS. The MMS process should be used as a basis for regulatory efforts without realigning the agencies’ regulatory authorities.

The letter could be funny, if BP’s well wasn’t currently leaking up to 65,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf every day.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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