A Plea for Enlightenment...
links for 2010-05-02

links for 2010-05-01

  • MRW: "BP, the company that owned the Louisiana oil rig that exploded last week, spent years battling federal regulators over how many layers of safeguards would be needed to prevent a deepwater well from this type of accident. One area of immediate concern, industry experts said, was the lack of a remote system that would have allowed workers to clamp shut Deepwater Horizon's wellhead so it would not continue to gush oil. The rig is now spilling 210,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico. In a letter sent last year to the Department of the Interior, BP objected to what it called "extensive, prescriptive regulations" proposed in new rules to toughen safety standards. "We believe industry's current safety and environmental statistics demonstrate that the voluntary programs…continue to be very successful.""
  • MY: "Here’s some important details buried inside the new GDP figures: 'Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 1.4 percent in the first quarter, compared with no change in the fourth.... Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 3.8 percent, compared with a decrease of 2.2 percent.' The point here is that contrary to the impression fostered by the right of a grasping federal government crushing everything, all increases in federal spending have been doing lately is partially offsetting recession-induced declines in state and local government spending. Those declines are very economically damaging.... In an ideal world, Congress would have appropriated even more funds for... [aid to states]. Instead, the Senators from Maine teamed up with some moderate Democrats to scale it back. It’s been a huge mistake and we’re likely to continue paying the price for it..."