Oil executives on Capitol Hill a PR stunt
BP CEO, Tony Hayward was scolded before US House Members over the Gulf Coast oil spill. But, are stiff fines and warnings enough to punish the company?
“For the past two months we’ve seen the US government do nothing but coddle BP and kind of bow to their interest. So this congressional hearing, like Obama’s Oval Office address and the announcement of this escrow fund is a result of mounting nationwide public pleasure,” said Mike Prysner, the west coast organizer for Seize BP.
Prysner argues that the congressional hearings are really just a public relations stunt to appease those who are angry across America.
“Tony Hayward was in Congress testifying and what he got was, in addition to apologies to him from members of Congress for how they’ve been mistreated by the US government, but also government officials really just wagging their finger and saying they’re disappointed in them,” said Prysner.
We need more than words, said Prysner. The people of the gulf coast are in need of action.
“What we need to focus on is the immediate needs of the people on the gulf coast,” said Prysner.
There is of course a need to punish those responsible, but the urgent need is to take care of the people who have been affected.
“The US government has the authority and legal jurisdiction to take serious action to do what we are calling for, which is seize the assets of the company, place them in a trust and allow that trust to be divvied up by members of the community,” said Prysner.
Prysner argues that the government has been treating BP as a partner, ensuring their continued profitability and ignoring their responsibility.
“The hearing was a charade, the hearing was a performance. Who was responsible for the BP oil spill? Every American president since Jimmy Carter, Democratic and Republican, every congress since Jimmy Carter’s congress, and even that one, Democratic and Republican” said Brent Budowsky, a columnist from The Hill.
Each congress and administration could have addressed the issue years earlier; however they opted to focus on receiving campaign money from the oil industry, argued Budowsky.
Budowsky stated that he believed there is a strong possibility someone at BP may end up in jail, convicted of criminal charges. Public outcry and increased pressure over time will force the government to respond.
The spill is much worse than we know. When all is said in done, “there will be hell to pay,” said Budowsky.
He argued the spill will cause more damage than the government and BP are eluding too and that public anger will only worsen.
“The key point here is that we in America need to get of the addition of oil.”
Budowsky argues that we need to invest in alternative fuels and change the way we do business on energy to prevent future disasters.