THE OIL SPILL SUMMIT IS COMING
Posted by Andrew Roman on June 11, 2010
He probably won’t be using a teleprompter (I say “probably”), but he may very well have a political Cyrano under the table prompting him. There may be crib notes stashed under the napkin or little post-its with bullet points taped to the bottom of the table for him to access. Either way, Captain Cue Card is on the case.
And not that there is any urgency fifty-three days after the fact, but the Oil Spill Summit between the man who vows to kick someone’s ass over this disaster – President Barack Obama – and the man who personifies evil more than any other human being that has ever drawn a breath (including Pauly Shore) – BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg – will finally take place … not today, not over the weekend, not on Monday, but next Wednesday.
The President already acts as if what is happening in the Gulf is an annoyance to him – a pain in the ass nuisance drawing precious attention away from him and toward oil-soaked pelicans and vanishing coast line – but like everything else this he does, it is a contrived, day-late/dollar-short measure meant to look like he’s doing something – anything – other than White House galas, golf and waffles.
BP Plc Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg is being summoned to Washington for a meeting with President Barack Obama as politicians step up pressure on the company to settle damage claims and suspend the dividend.
Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the government’s national incident commander, requested the June 16 meeting in a letter addressed to Svanberg at the company’s London headquarters yesterday. He asked for the chairman and other “appropriate” company representatives to meet with senior administration officials to discuss the company’s response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Allen said Obama will “participate in a portion” of the session.
That the President will participate in a “portion” of the session is a blessing to us all.
The meeting will be Obama’s first direct communication with BP representatives since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 people and triggered the spill. It also comes as some U.S. lawmakers are calling on BP to suspend its dividend to pay for cleanup and economic losses and questioning the integrity of the company’s public statements.
A sidebar: While in Brooklyn yesterday, I stopped to fill up my car at a BP station on Coney Island Avenue. Because I am an interactive type, I asked a man across from me who was self-serving his Chevy if he had a problem buying gas from BP because of the Gulf Oil Spill.
He said, “It’s a goddamn mess down there, but I need gas. I don’t give a shit where it comes from. When they invent a car with a windmill on it, let me know.”