Mitch McConnell Defends BP and Blames Obama for the Gulf Oil Spill

McConnell doesn't think BP should pay for it all

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:

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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.

31 Replies to “Mitch McConnell Defends BP and Blames Obama for the Gulf Oil Spill”

  1. Thanks for highlighting the BIG LIE, which is that the oil “we” drill is ours. Drill here, drill now has always been a failed platform of the misinformed due to this inconvenient fact.

    I guess most of the country isn’t informed enough to understand JUST what a liar Mitch is, but those of us who do know, find this performance as disgusting as it is outrageous.

    Hey, Mitch, YOU LIE!

    Those are OUR shores, our people, our wildlife impacted by this atrocious spill which could have been avoided if the GOP hadn’t cheered as Cheney crawled so far up the energy industry’s behind as to sell us all out.

    I think it’s safe to say Mitch does not love America the way the rest of us do.

  2. @Sarah Jones,

    You’re right. These companies that are all about doing everything they can as cheaply as they can are going to bypass all the gulf coast refineries and spend tons of money shipping it somewhere else, someplace like . . . *crickets chirping*

    See, this is where goofy ideas fall apart. There is no where else to ship it. It goes to the gulf coast refineries. It stays here. Much as you’d like to pretend it’s going to go somewhere else, it makes no economic sense to send it anywhere else.

  3. @LisaB, It does not stay here. The gulf coast refineries don’t have the capacity to process it. We have not built a new refinery in decades. The oil is refined overseas and placed on the global market for sale. I have no idea where you have gotten this fairy tale. You are confusing where the oil is processed with ownership. The US does not own the oil. It owns the rights, which it sells off for a fee to private companies. These companies then extract the oil for sale on the open market. The US does not possess the refinery capacity so it is shipped elsewhere then sold back to us in a version of the Triangle Trade.

  4. @LisaB,

    We pay the market price for the oil, just as if we were buying it from any place else. It is a fungible global commodity. BP will pump it and dump it on the global market, it will be equal in exchange for oil coming from any other source. A barrel of oil is the same price on the global market no matter what the source.


    Furthermore, it is sold on the open market – the international market. It does not stay here by any promise or contract. BP is not even an American company. The barrel itself may be sold here and stay here, but the PRICE DOES NOT CHANGE. IT IS SOLD ON THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET. The price gets exchanged, not the actual barrel of oil. That is how this works.

    There is not enough oil here to ever put a dent in the supply needs and the price is going to keep rising with the global demand. We produce twice the oil per person as the world average, and consume five times the oil per person. That is the real threat we face. The only way to deal with this issue is to alter our demand for it.

    Show me where BP altered the price of a barrel of oil because they saved on “shipping”. Then your argument will have some merit. Until then, I give you the stock market to study. You can look these companies up on the market:

    In the Gulf, we have:

    BP Plc (BP.L) Thunder Horse, the largest oil and gas platform in the world, 250,000 barrels of oil per day and 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas

    Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) Perdido, 100,000 barrels of oil per day, 200 million cubic feet per day of gas

    Chevron Corp (CVX.N) Tahiti, 125,000 barrels a day of oil, 70 million cubic feet per day of gas

  5. @Sarah Jones, Actually since the US produces Light Sweet Crude it not an equal exchange. LSC is easer to refine so they chage up to 25% more than Heavy Crude. It piss me off to no end when I hear morons Like Palin screaming DRILL BABY DRILL and we get no benefit only the desrtuction it causes. We need to throw Palin in the Gulf oil slick.

  6. J.E./S.J.,
    Thank you for the Petroleum Economics 101 lesson. I hope someone’s listening — it’s so not what the misinformed Right wants to hear.
    Anyone who thinks the U.S. owns the oil drilled here is a naive dipshit. Yet another fallacy — the central one — to the jingoistic shrieks of “Drill Baby, Drill”.

  7. @LisaB,
    Our Alaskan oil doesnt stay here either.

    There will not be new refinery built, thats why I am in favor of telling the Oil Corps to drill anywhere they want so the people can see they wont.

    The oil corps investments over seas will not be compromised. It is far too big to drill here if they dont have to spend the money

  8. I think we can safely assume that Mitch McConnell is now a Fox News Anchor. Along with his overall thesis of Whoever approved the lease is culpable and that the reform wall street bill gives endless bailouts when it doesnt has to work for Fox

  9. I knew it was a matter of time before Timothy Turtle and other GOP’ers were going to blame President Obama. Yea, I can see Obama setting dynamite off on an oil platform. Now really Timothy, I mean Mr. McConnel you are just lying now and you are the BIGGEST laughing stock of the country right now….Bwa-HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

  10. McConnell comes from the “Good Ole Boy” league. He has been after Obama from day one. He will not stop until he can find some disaster or lie to blame the President for so he and the rest of the spineless Republicans can destroy this administration. They don’t care if it destroys the country in the process. The GOP absolutely hates that Obama is their President. They will never get over it … never. Their game has never been about the people. And they certainly are not about to start now. This latest falsehood is infuriating! They have got to be called out on this crap. Tim Russert would never have let McConnell get away with that conversation without a serious challenge. Gregory will never be able to fill Russert’s shoes. Russert did his homework and made it all very interesting and informative. Those days of Meet the Press are long gone!

  11. Notice how LisaB has not come back on here?

    That’s called shame, or in today’s social network lingo, a facepalm.

    Tsk, tsk…that’s what happens when you are uninformed and believe you’re a heavyweight when all you are is, well, LisaB knows now.

  12. 60 minutes had a great segment on this tonight. If I thought I was angry before, it went to a new level after watching. Thanks so much Sarah & Jason.

    FJoy: I couldn’t agree more with you re Meet the Press. I won’t watch it anymore because of Mr. Milk Toast Gregory. It’s just become a platform for the right wing to rant with no restrictions. Tim Russert – you are sadly missed!

  13. What we need in these big corporations are some good old fashioned whistle blowers who are protected by the law. It’s time to change the greedy climate of big business. It’s dangerous for it’s workers, and hardworking people are not getting the salaries they deserve, there’s no loyalty for honesty and good work, and the profits go to executive bonuses and off shore bank accounts. And often times when the greed and corruption have taken over or you have a major manmade disaster like the economic crash of 2008 or this BP Gulf Oil spill, the American taxpayers are left to foot the bill again. Watch out for the Republicans who support these actions. Do not vote them back into office. Don’t be fooled!

  14. @Nikolai,

    Truly — now that you mention it, Eraserhead as a total experience sums up watching GOP these days.

  15. just one more reason to move out of kentucky… mitch doesn’t have anyone’s interests in heart except his own and his cronies’; he never really has. you can’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth. and this year, he’s made me incredibly sad to even live in a state that could elect him to the Senate. but this is GOP strategy. find a bush f*** up that can be applied to President Obama. john stewart is such a genius…

  16. @F Joy, No one has to look for a lie or disaster to blame Obama for! Everything he has touched since he was voted in by the “spineless”, idiot LIBERALS and Democrats, has turned into a total DISASTER!!! the oil spill is the last in a long string of them! And yes, the Republicans DO hate that Obama is sitting in the office of the President…kind of how all you..ahem..Dumbacrats hated it when George Bush was President, hey???

  17. No Republican should suggest anything that’s happened under this administration to be investigated unless they are also ready to have Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Rovey, Wolfy and all the rest dragged into court on war crimes and various other charges. They were given a major pass on something that’s cost lots of lives and money. No comparison.

  18. @, That’s fresh, ‘dumbacrats’. Somebody’s been listening to hip hop.

    Deregulation and insider control of the energy and financial sector have been the objectives of the Republican Party since the stone age. We’re just getting to see the resuts that token opposition by the Democrats coupled with apathy (or outright ignorance, in your case) have reaped.

  19. If the republicans were really interested in helping the situation, they would not be trying to blame Obama administration. they would be saying what can we do to help? They would be saying here is an idea to fix the problem. The government doesn’t need to be spending time right now defending against political attacks.

    First get the oil gushing stopped, then clean up the mess, only after those things happen then fix the drilling approval process, verify oil rig safety measures are sound, determine whether to pause all drilling, examine the effectiveness of the MMS, etc, if needed. First, stop the oil and begin clean up.

    This environmental disaster effects the safety of the US, it’s an attack on our security. Everybody needs to work together to help, repubs and dems. No more backbiting.

  20. I’m sorry but this blame-Bush song is as old and unpalatable as Miss Havisham’s cake. We could blame everything on past administrations. Why don’t we blame FDR for Lake Powell AND the Salton Sea? But it’s not accurate and it does nothing to solve the problem: it only makes leftists feel better, to relieve them of the shame and embarrassment they experience when they realized they were duped when they voted for Obama. “Secret” energy task force? Come on. Let’s look at the facts, shall we? I know facts are a big problem with leftists but bear with me. Fact: Obama received more money from BP than ANY other candidate. Fact: the land on which the oil is being drilled is federal land and therefore does fall under this administration’s responsibility. Fact: the Bush response to Katrina fell under the Stafford Act, which makes the initial response the responsibility of local and state officials, NOT the feds. Fact: Bush was at Katrina in four days. Obama didn’t show up until the 12th day. Fact: the oil industry is one of the most heavily regulated in all of commerce. Fact: this administration did nothing to enforce the regulations that are already in place (regulations that you and I pay for with our tax dollars) so how will MORE regulations help fill that regulation gap that you claim exists? Fact: this administration instead of enforcing regulations awarded this BP rig a safety commendation. How many times has Obama been to the Gulf during the crisis? How many fundraisers has he attended during the crisis? How many rounds of golf has he played? How many athletic teams has he hosted? Even the most ardent supports of this president have been critical. Even they realize what a joke this administration is and how ineffective Obama is as a leader. You can spin this any way you want; you can conjure up whatever conspiracies and whatever excuses you want but it only demonstrates how much Kook-aid you’ve been drinking as your views are in stark contrast with the inconvenient facts as well as with the American public, a public that doesn’t buy into all the bs but clearly understands that this is crisis is Obama’s and Obama’s alone. I’d love to see the leftist response if this did happen under the Bush administration.

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