The more I followed the 2008 campaign, the less I believed Barack Obama’s rhetoric, his mellifluous voice and telegenic presence notwithstanding, that he was some new kind of politician, committed to ideals of open government, immune to the pull of special interests — particularly those with lots of cash to spread around.
He cut his teeth in the hardscrabble world of Chicago politics and never once showed any inclination to buck the machine. He was — and remains — a loyal team player. He didn’t do anything to take on corrupt politicians nor did he support their challengers in primary elections.
So, it comes as little surprise that his Administration did a favor for a campaign contributor:
Turns out Barack Obama has gotten more money from British Petroleum than any other American politician. Not just that, but BP spent $15.9 million lobbying the Democrats and Obama last year.
The result of all that money to Obama? The Obama Administration exempted British Petroleum from an environmental drilling study.
“What the odds?” Doug Ross asks, “Obama biggest recipient of BP cash in last 20 years; U.S. exempted BP’s Deepwater site from environmental oversight in ’09“. Now, I’ll grant that more investigation is warranted, but there is more evidence here of pay-for-lax enforcement than of collusion between the Bush Administration and Halliburton.
When I checked the home pages of the New York Times, Washington Post and Yahoo!, none reported the link. If this were a different Administration, they would have already ran stories similar to those we have seen on right-of-center blogs and have dispatched their top reporters to research this matter.
The one who uncovered the scandal would be sure to win a Pulitzer Prize.
UPDATE: Right after posting, caught this on Instapundit:
GOVERNMENT REGULATORS GAVE BP A PASS: “The Interior Department exempted BP’s calamitous Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental-impact analysis last year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely.”
I had linked the original WaPo version of this below, but, strangely, that link now goes to a completely different story. So here it is again. Thanks to reader Joseph Nunke for pointing out this odd behavior at the Post, and for sending the new link. We saw similar behavior from The New York Times with a critical story about the Administration the other day. Hmm. Anybody at the WaPo or the NYT want to explain this? ‘Cause it looks pretty bad.
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