Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was on Meet The Press today, and he came right out of the gate trying to score political points on the Gulf oil by blaming the Obama administration for the incident, “the administration’s involvement in this will be a big part of the inquiry.” McConnell also stated his opposition to lifting the damages cap and making BP pay for everything.
Here is the video:
Host David “No Fact Check Required” Gregory asked McConnell about BP’s role in the Gulf oil spill, “Well, look, we’re all angry about it. This is a–an environmental disaster of gargantuan proportions, but the president’s spent a whole lot of time pointing the finger at, at BP–and you should point the finger at BP and the other companies involved in it. We’re also interested in knowing what the administration did. Was the Mineral Management Service a part of this administration that approved this site? It also approved this spill response plan. What kind of oversight did the administration provide during the course of the drilling? There are plenty of questions that need to be answered, and there’ll be adequate time for that. But the administration’s involvement in this will be a big part of the inquiry. In the meantime, we need to do everything we can to stop this spill.”
McConnell didn’t stop at just blaming Obama. He also said that the damages cap should not be lifted, so BP should pay, but not that much, “Well, the danger in that, of course, is that if you raise the cap too high, there will be no competition in the Gulf and you’ll leave all the business to the big guys like BP. What BP has said they need to be held to, which is they’re going to pay for this. They ought to pay for it, and they will pay for it. But the danger of taking the cap too high is that you end up with only massive, very large oil producers able to meet that cap and produce in the Gulf. And look, we can’t walk away–and the president’s not suggesting this either–from offshore drilling. As horrible as this is, it’s important to remember that we get 30 percent of our oil from the Gulf and, if you shut that down, you’d have $14 gasoline.”
McConnell was pushing a big lie, because he knows that the oil drilled in the Gulf does not belong to the United States, as per the sweetheart agreement that our government has with the oil industry, the oil extracted from the Gulf belongs to the oil companies that drill for it, and they are free to sell it to anyone on the open global oil market. He is lying to protect the industry, pure and simple. This is what most Americans don’t get. The oil drilled here is not ours. It doesn’t belong to us. It does not help with our energy woes.
Mitch McConnell is still trying to label the Gulf oil spill Obama’s Katrina, but as our own Sarah Jones has pointed out, this incident really belongs to the Bush administration, specifically Dick Cheney, his secret energy task force, and deregulation. That MMS thing that McConnell made reference to, the so called ass for gas scandal, that happened during Bush too.
Of course, the biggest problem with McConnell’s comments is that he doesn’t think BP should have to pay for the entire spill. His fear mongering about $14 gasoline is an industry talking point that has no basis in fact or the market. There is no way that not continuing to drill in the Gulf could result in $14 gasoline. Once again, the Republicans show that their true interest rests not with holding corporate America accountable, but enabling their crimes for profit.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association