The devastation to the Gulf Coast just continues to grow in magnitude. What started as a minor oil leak on your driveway has now become a major issue. The fishing industry is at a standstill, I heard today that the price of Shrimp has risen 50% in the past week.  With no place to fish, there is no product to send to market.

BP CEO Tony Haywood had to face the wrath of Congress today. Before the session started everyone had been forewarned by Bart Stupak that it likely would be a rough road!

Haywood did take a huge number of hits, but when the dust settles, much of the problem lays firmly in the hands of the government. Haywood took blow after blow, he somehow took the punishment. Does he deserve it? YES.

But the other side of the coin reveals a government agency that is so stupid that they make the FCC look like heroes.

I spent a number of years working in the Oil and Gas business, it is at best dangerous, if you do not plan well, people die. People die even when you do plan well.

I am by no means supporting Haywood, but ragging on him is a lot like dragging in the owner of a theater chain because you don’t like the movie. Without doubt the ‘open mouth and insert foot’ came from Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, he opened Republican statements with an apology to Hayward, saying he was “ashamed” that the company has been subjected to what Barton characterized as a $20 billion “shakedown” by the administration.

The replays just does not do it justice. This idiocy came out of nowhere.

Later in the day, no doubt after the Republican party had taken a big stick to Joe Barton, he took a 180 and tried to explain that the deal was not a ‘$20 billion Slush Fund’. In some ways Joe Barton made such an ass of himself that at least for a little while the heat was off Tony Haywood.

Ignoring the puerile activities of Joe Barton, what did we learn today? Actually not much.  Off Shore drilling is a dangerous business. The rewards are high, but so to are the potential problems.

I watched the whole sordid deal today. It was an adventure into stupidity. Asking Tony Hayward about the type of concrete used in the drilling operation is akin to asking Bill Gates what his favorite Earth Moving Equipment is! It will be interesting to see what happens to Forest Gump Joe Barton in the light of his exploration into the insane.

Simon Barrett

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